Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Image: Submitted/Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Wolastoqey chiefs worry about status of elver fishery

By Brad Perry Feb 15, 2024 | 1:00 PM

Federal fisheries officials are expected to announce next week whether the elver fishery will reopen.

However, the chiefs representing New Brunswick’s Wolastoqey communities are already fearing the worst.

Poaching has plagued the lucrative baby eel fishery for a number of years, leading to a shutdown last April.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) said it will be consulting with licence holders and Indigenous groups over the coming days.

The feds said they have been working on management changes for the fishery, including separate licenses for the possession and export of elvers.

In a news release, the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick said its lack of access to the baby eel fishery continues to be a serious problem.

“The only way forward for a sustainable and safe elver fishery is for access, supported by DFO and Canada, that respects the inherent and treaty-protected rights of Wolastoqey and provides for co-governance of the resource with Wolastoqey,” said the release.

“The existing system prioritizes non-Indigenous commercial fishing interests at the expense of inherent fishing rights of First Nations.”

The Wolastoqey chiefs said they want to see an Indigenous-led elver fishery based on enhanced monitoring of the species.

“Existing monitoring and resources are not sufficient to manage the conservation and protection of elver or appropriately safeguard personal safety. We are looking to continue to work with DFO to enhance monitoring and protection of our fisheries” said the release.

DFO is expected to announce its decision on this year’s fishery next Friday.