For Immediate release
November 5, 2020
Halifax/Kjipuktuk – Activist group Solidarity Kjipuktuk/Halifax will hold a demonstration to call attention to how Clearwater Seafood’s megafishery operation threatens Mi’kmaw livelihood fishing. Protestors will gather Thursday, November 5 from 7:30am to 9am at the Clearwater Seafood retail location on the Bedford Highway.
Demonstrators will protest Clearwater’s industry consolidation and the special regulatory conditions which allow the company to run a massive year-round offshore fishing operation. “We oppose the special treatment that Clearwater Seafood receives from the Canadian government” says Logan Gray, Solidarity Kjipuktuk/Halifax Member, “just by existing, Clearwater’s massive operation poses a serious threat to both Mi’kmaq livelihood and lobster conservation.”
In 2019, Clearwater was found to be in “gross violation” of fisheries regulations for storing lobster traps on the ocean floor—an illegal practice which threatens lobster conservation. Additionally, Clearwater’s LF41 License grants the company access to extract lobster from a large area of water, year-round, while the company continues opaque practices shrouded in corporate secrecy.
“It’s a double-standard for Clearwater to receive special treatment in the form of government loans and regulatory favoritism” says Gray, “while Mi’kmaw fishers have sustained tens of thousands of dollars of economic sabotage for asserting their basic rights on the water.”
In Mi’kma’ki, neither the land nor waters have been ceded or surrendered, so the Mi’kmaq still hold inherent and treaty rights to the waters surrounding Nova Scotia. “Canada should honor the Peace and Friendship Treaties, by supporting Mi’kmaw rights to a livelihood through fishing,” says Gray, “not grant access to Clearwater so they can make billions in profit from recklessly fishing in Mi’kmaw waters.”