Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery expands in Nova Scotia

The Indigenous moderate livelihood fishery in Nova Scotia has grown a little larger.

The Pictou Landing First Nation this week became the latest Mi’kmaq band to start fishing for lobster outside the federally regulated season.

Like the other bands involved in the new fishery, Pictou Landing is citing treaties from the 1700s that were affirmed in a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision in 1999.

That ruling, known as the Marshall decision, confirmed that First Nations in the Maritimes and Quebec have the treaty right to fish, hunt and gather when and where they want as a means of pursuing a moderate livelihood.

The Pictou Landing First Nation has drafted a self-regulated fisheries management plan and it handed out fishing licences and trap tags on Wednesday.

The band’s lobster fishing season in the Northumberland Strait will remain open until Dec. 14, even though the regular commercial lobster season doesn’t reopen until the middle of next May.

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