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72 per cent of Canadians say Mi'kmaq fishing rights should be respected alongside conservation: Nanos survey by Graham Slaughter November 15,2020   |  Source: CTVNews.ca

Nearly three in four Canadians say the best path forward in the Mi’kmaq fishing dispute is to make sure that Indigenous fishing rights are respected while also ensuring that Indigenous fishers follow federal conservation rules.

The Nanos Research survey, commissioned by CTV News and The Globe and Mail and released Friday, asked 1,039 Canadians how they think the ongoing conflict in Nova Scotia should be resolved.

In October, a lobster pound used by Mi’kmaq fishers was burned to the ground and violent confrontations unfolded as non-Indigenous fishers accused Mi’kmaq fishers of breaking federal guidelines by catching lobsters outside of the government-mandated season. Mi’kmaq fishers responded by pointing to a 1999 Supreme Court ruling that affirmed their longstanding treaty rights to fish for a “moderate livelihood” whenever and wherever they want.

Critics have argued that the definition of “moderate livelihood” remains vague and that fishing seasons promote sustainability. But sustainability experts have cast doubt on that argument and said that the Mi’kmaq operation in St. Marys Bay isn’t big enough to pose any real threat to lobster sustainability.

Lobster populations in Canada are considered “healthy and sustainably managed,” according to

 

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