Lobster Fishermen Demonstrating At DFO Offices Today

Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2017 10:10 AM

Demonstrations are being held today at some Department of Fisheries and Oceans offices.

Lobster fishermen are presenting their concerns in Tusket, Meteghan, Digby and Barrington.

In Tusket, none of the 30 or so fishermen gathered would speak directly to Acadia News, but a sign erected on the front lawn of the office spoke loud and clear.

It reads DFO needs to enforce laws that are in place for protection and conservation of commercial lobster stocks.

The fishermen are asking for compliance and enforcement of the Fisheries Act and all conditions for indigenous fishermen.

They say their issue is with DFO and not Aboriginal fishermen, as they respect their right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes.

But they are frustrated with a few who are allegedly selling lobster during the summer months.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for DFO says it has been communicated to them by industry that the issue surrounds the Aboriginal food, social and ceremonial fishery.

David Whorley, Area Director for DFO in South Western Nova Scotia says department officials will engage with concerned fishermen.

"To try and get some solid information out. As it is right now, it remains the case that our Conservation and Protection branches are tasked with ensuring compliance and all of the relevant fisheries legislation for commercial, recreational and indigenous fisheries."

Whorley says there is a lot of enforcement work in progress both on and off the water.

He says there has been a lot of misinformation on social media.