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Conservative MPs call for stricter enforcement on elver poaching

By Evan Taylor Apr 12, 2023 | 2:52 PM

Image: Submitted/Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Reports of increasing poaching of elvers (glass eels) in Nova Scotia have prompted a statement from three MPs. Clifford Small, Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, Rick Perkins, Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s, and Chris d’Entremont, Member of Parliament for West Nova, have expressed concern over the illegal commercial fishing activity in the Southern and Western Shores of Nova Scotia.

According to fishing communities, there are unlicensed commercial harvesters operating throughout the region, including from Maine, Quebec, and New Brunswick. The lack of enforcement by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Conservation and Protection (C&P) on the rivers has encouraged poaching, which poses a threat to the sustainability of both baby eels and adult eels. In 2022, the fishery was valued at $5,000 a kilogram.

The politicians have called on the Minister of Fisheries, Joyce Murray, to take immediate action to stop the illegal poaching and enforce the law to conserve the stock and prevent violence on the rivers in Nova Scotia. They note that the region has five times as many C&P personnel per square kilometer as the rest of the Atlantic Region, and historically, DFO has brought in reinforcement from other areas in crisis situations. The politicians emphasized that there are a total of 8 commercial elver licenses and 3 communal licenses for First Nations throughout the Maritimes.


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