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Mi’Kmaw And The Atlantic Salmon


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#1 salmonfreak

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 10:13 AM

Here's a report from 2013 published by the Mi'kmaq regarding their feelings on mainland atlantic salmon.  Quoted below are a few of the points worth considering.  

 

http://mikmaki.ca/PD...ntic_Salmon.pdf

 

"most (but not all) Mi’kmaw fishers agree to voluntarily refrain from exercising their right to a commercial salmon fishery for a ‘moderate livelihood’"  

 

No commercial salmon fishery is permitted by anyone; it was closed in 1982 in Nova Scotia.  The Supreme Court of Canada in R v Marshall was clear that native commercial fishing rights do not exist in a vacum and the court did NOT say Native commercial fisheries ought to be given priorty of access or allocation over other user groups unlike R v Sparrow with regards to fishing for food social and ceremonial.      

 
". they insist that DFO demonstrate the same concern for the species and close down the recreational fishery in recognition of the Supreme Court-confirmed priority of Aboriginal harvesting over commercial and recreational uses"
 
The recreational live release fishery is not an allocation and never has been ruled as such in any court. Therefore DFO can close a native food fishery and allow a recreational live release fishery and not offend the constitution contrary to the claims above.  The issue was almost tested but never ended up going to trial after DFO submitted their legal response in federal court and the case was withdrawn by the Mi'kmaq.  Did they see the writing on the wall? 
 
"Populations in the Shubenacadie and Stewiacke Rivers have declined to such an extent that most (but not all?) Mi’kmaw voluntarily refrain from salmon fishing there."
 
"Jigging may be done when the river is too wide for snaring or spearing, too deep, or the water too dark."
 
Jigging is not a permitted harvest by any Mi'kmaq anywhere in the Maritimes.  The agreements with DFO, whether imposed or signed by individual band,s prohibit jigging for conservation purposes.  I guess the authors of this report seem to ignore that and ignore the conservation implications of jigging salmon; how does jigging fit into Netukulimk?  Maybe this an example where the river is too wide and deep so that means this guy can jig salmon off a bridge on a tiny NS stream?
 
 
 
"meetings were held in Indian Brook and Gold River with salmon harvesters and interested community members to discuss salmon-related observations and concerns."
" Gold River is reported to have seen a moderate salmon return in 2011, but hardly any migration in 2013 up to the end of June"   
 
There were reports of natives netting the gold river in 2011 which may explain the observations that 2011 had a moderate return.  This despite the fact  no netting or harvesting of any kind is permitted in the southern upland rivers like the gold for conservation purposes.  The region has been listed as Endangered by COSEWIC and on the verge of extirpation.     
 
 
"In this case, some squeeze out its roe and bury it in the gravel in the stream bed for upcoming males to find and fertilize. Similarly, they may squeeze out the sperm of a male into the water in the hope it will find a redd of eggs to fertilize as it drifts downstream. The teaching of how to fish for salmon thus goes far beyond the mere technique of catching one. “It includes all the good stuff like traditions, what to do with the eggs, giving thanks, that’s all part of it”, as one young fisherman explained."
 
"The two initiatives suggested by the Mi’kmaw fishermen as promising to have the most positive impacts on salmon returns are: a) To limit or suspend the sport fishery until it is safe for the species to resume; B) Adjust the Nova Scotia’s forestry practices to minimize impacts on watercourses, wetlands, and forest soil and groundcover destruction. "
 
According to DFO's salmon stock status reports from the NS gulf region SFA 18 In 2014 the recreational fishers harvested approximately 110 grilse out of an estimated 10000.   The recent years before it was 150 or less.  According to 10 years of data on the Margaree 86% of grilse were male which contribute nothing  to the egg deposition which is what's important to maintain conservation requirements.  Mature male salmon parr can and do spawn with females further suggesting that male grilse are not as important to sustain the population and are almost entirely all that rec fishers harvest.  There is no scientific evidence to the support the claim that closing a rec fishery would have any impact on improving salmon returns, actually probably the opposite will occur.     

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#2 mattd

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 08:37 PM

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this info. The more we all know, the better.
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