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March 30, 2018

Passamaquoddy in Canada negotiating rights to fish for lobster in Passamaquoddy Bay

Passamaquoddy fishermen in Canada are negotiating rights to fish for lobster in Passamaquoddy Bay.

The Quoddy Tides reported that the issue could affect neighboring Passamaquoddy in Maine. The Peskotomuhkati (Passamaquoddy) Nation at Skutik in New Brunswick is negotiating with Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans regarding their entrance to the fishery. Because the nation’s traditional territory stretches from the Penobscot River in Maine to Point Lepreau in New Brunswick, issues involving the rights of Maine Passamaquoddys are involved.

Issues from the Peskotomuhkati perspective include tribal rights around fishing being conducted before a management plan has been put in place.

Concerning the Peskotomuhkati, Fundy North Fishermen's Association Executive Director Maria Recchia told the Quoddy Tides that her organization’s members “want rules and enforcement” but are willing to set fears aside until additional meetings clarify what the Passamaquoddy in Canada are actually planning.

Noting that her organization has not participated directly in the meetings between the Peskotomuhkati First Nation and Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Ocean, Recchia said she was grateful that the Peskotomuhkati have kept the “lines of communication open.”

“The goal of these meetings is to build relationships,” she told the Quoddy Tides. “Discussions have been frank and we appreciate the openness of the Peskotomuhkati Nation and their willingness to engage in dialogue with us.”

She added, “Hopefully, they’ll have a fishery that works for their community and not create a lot of conflict.”

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