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RCMP investigating after Mi’kmaq lobster fishing boats cut loose from wharf in N.S.

Indigenous lobster boats head from the harbour in Saulnierville, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan

The RCMP are opening a criminal investigation into a report that nine lobster fishing boats operated by Mi’kmaq fishers were purposely cut loose from a wharf Thursday in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack has alleged the boats were cast adrift from their berths in Weymouth North, N.S., to damage the band’s property and intimidate its fishers.

Read more: Indigenous lobster fishing boats cut loose from wharf in Nova Scotia: First Nation

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The Mounties said Friday they were taking the complaint seriously and seeking the public’s assistance with the case.

Later in the day, the RCMP issued a news releasing adding that a lobster crate containing $800 worth of lobster was stolen from one of the boats.

Click to play video: 'Sipekne’katik First Nation suspends fishery launch indefinitely'
Sipekne’katik First Nation suspends fishery launch indefinitely

 

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Sack says the boats were ready to take part in the band’s food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery, which is regulated by federal rules but not limited to a particular season.

Read more: N.S. First Nation further delays lobster fishing, saying it risks losing traps

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The band attracted national attention last fall when it started a separate, self-regulated commercial lobster fishery on St. Marys Bay, three months before the federally regulated season was scheduled to open.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2021.

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