But the Sipeknekatik First Nation says its people have a treaty right to fish at any time. Indigenous fishermen set their traps Thursday, 21 years after the Supreme Court of Canada decided Donald Marshall Jr. had a treaty right to fish for eels when and where he wanted without a licence.
It’s not going to take very long
Tension has mounted since RCMP arrested two people on assault charges at the wharf in Weymouth, N.S., on Friday following reports of ugly confrontations over the First Nations lobster fishing operation.
On Saturday, Indigenous fishermen set up a set up a blockade of rope and lobster traps at each end of the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., in what they called a security measure.
Rhonda Knockwood, the First Nations director of operations, said its fishermen and RCMP were documenting the actions of non-native fishermen on Sunday.
They have a lot of video and are gathering evidence of criminal activity, Knockwood said. We are keeping the peace here we are just trying to implement our (fishery) plan.
She said the RCMP was in the area but could only do so much to monitor the situation.
The volume of boats that are on the water far exceeds the police, said Knockwood. The Coast Guard and DFO have a responsibility on the water too and they are absent.
In a news release issued earlier Sunday, Sipeknekatik Chief Mike Sack said that he had held a positive meeting on Saturday with federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to discuss a path forward. Sack said both had agreed to continue talks.