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Commercial fishers seek intervener status in lawsuit over Indigenous fishing rights

Click to play video 'Sipekne’katik First Nation challenges Nova Scotia to claim fishing treaty right' Sipekne’katik First Nation challenges Nova Scotia to claim fishing treaty right
The Sipekne’katik First Nation has filed a court challenge against the Nova Scotia, challenging a provincial regulation on purchasing fish products, saying it’s unconstitutional. Elizabeth McSheffrey explains – Feb 3, 2021

A group representing commercial fishers is seeking intervener status in a lawsuit filed by a First Nation challenging Nova Scotia’s rules around buying and selling seafood products.

The Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance said today in a news release its members have been directly affected by the legal action of the Sipekne’katik First Nation.

The Mi’kmaq say provincial regulations limiting the purchase of fish products harvested outside the federally regulated fishing season infringe on their treaty rights.

Read more: Sipekne’katik files court action against Nova Scotia to claim fishing treaty right

Commercial fishers say they want to take part in the legal proceedings to represent the perspective and interests of the commercial fishing industry.

The group says it believes Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers can work side by side under a unified conservation and fishery management regulatory regime.

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Legal action came following months of tension between the Mi’kmaq and commercial fishers over the First Nation’s decision to launch a self-regulated fishery last September outside the federally regulated season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2021.

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Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack says band pursuing dozens of lawsuits – Nov 12, 2020