The Chocolate River a Little More Clear

By NB AMDO Barry LaBillois (excerpts taken from various articles)
Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 6 – Issue 3 December 2010

The Petitcodiac River ‘the river that bends like a bow” runs 129 km through south eastern part of New Brunswick draining a watershed of approximately 2,831 square kilometers. Prior to 1968 the Petitcodiac River was home to a large number of species. In the 1960s there were Atlantic Tomcod and Rainbow Smelt, both with populations in the hundreds of thousands; Gaspereau and American Shad, numbering in the tens of thousands; American Eel, Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout, Lamprey, and Striped Bass, all originally numbering in the thousands; and Atlantic Sturgeon, with numbers in the several hundreds. Other fish included the Blue Back Herring, Brown Bullhead, Chain Pickerel, Smallmouth Bass, White Perch, and White Sucker. Marine mammals and sharks also occasionally visited the mouth of the river, including Pilot Whales, Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins, Harbour Porpoise, Harbour Seals and Porbeagle sharks. Freshwater molluscs filled the muds, including Brook Floater, Dwarf Wedgemussel, Eastern Ellipto, Eastern Floater, Eastern Pearlshell, and Triangle Floater.

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Mime’j Seafoods Tour

By MAARS CDIL Brett Bancroft
Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 6 – Issue 1 & 2 June/Sept 2010

On June 23, 2010, I had the opportunity to travel to the South Shore area of Nova Scotia to view various facilities owned and operated by Mime’j Seafoods Ltd., which is the Aboriginal Communal Commercial Fisheries Entity (ACCFE) of the Native Council of Nova Scotia (NCNS).

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The Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) 2010 Conference

By MAARS Director Roger Hunka
Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 6 – Issue 1 & 2 June/Sept 2010

Montreal, Quebec, was the host city for The Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) 2010 Conference, September 17, 18 and 19. The Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council (MAPC) and the Maritime Aboriginal Aquatic Resources Secretariate (MAARS), as members of the Nova Scotia Environmental Network, sent two representatives to the three day conference.

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A New Off-Reserve Voice to Jump-Start NACOSAR

Interviewed by IKANAWTIKET Regional Facilitator Joshua McNeely
Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 6 – Issue 1 & 2 June/Sept 2010

Federal Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, made several new appointments to the National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk (NACOSAR) in June. The Council of six Aboriginal persons, also nominated by the National Aboriginal Organizations to reflect, as best possible in across six persons, a diversity of regions, backgrounds and knowledge about biodiversity and Aboriginal issues. The Council’s duty is to advise the Minister of Environment on the administration of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and to provide advice and recommendations to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (the council of all federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for species at risk within their respective jurisdictions).

This is a monumental responsibility for six Aboriginal advisors, but also an unprecedented opportunity and starting point for Aboriginal Peoples to become involved in the decisions which most affect us.

I sat down with one of the new NACOSARians, IKANAWTIKET volunteer Jeff Stevens, to learn what his vision is for the future of species at risk.

Jeff Stevens

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Youth ARISES 2010

Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 5 – Issue 4 March 2010

By IKANAWTIKET Joshua McNeely

From March 14th to March 18th, 2010, thirty Aboriginal Youth from the Native Council of Nova Scotia, Native Council of Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council came together in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia for Youth ARISES 2010.

Ever since ARISES 2007 was held in Sackville, New Brunswick, several youth expressed an interest to learn more, and prepare themselves to one day be leaders for species at risk. During Youth ARISES 2010, participants learned about the lengthy and complex Species at Risk Act (SARA) process, which the Government of Canada uses to assess, protect, and recover species at risk. This is well beyond textbook learning in the classroom.

Youth from Nova Scotia and PEI gave up over half of their March Break and youth from New Brunswick now have to catch up on school work, as they missed regular school classes, in order to attend Youth ARISES 2010.

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2010 Snow Crab Management Plan

Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 5 – Issue 4 March 2010

By NB AMDO Barry LaBillois

The Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has ordered a 63% cut in the Total Allowable Catch of snow crab in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the 2010 season. The reduction is in response to research that uncovered a dramatic decrease in snow crab stocks, which are down 46% from last year. For “crabbers” in New Brunswick, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia believe it is a reduction that threatens their livelihoods.

The drastic decision to slash this season’s snow crab quota is the result of years of posturing, complaining, crabbing and the human weakness of greed; to take and take without any regard to the total biomass of the snow crab in and around Atlantic waters. The lesson is clear: think for the future, not only for today. According to a Dr. Mikio Moriyasu, a lead snow crab DFO scientist, “less punishing cuts had been suggested in previous years in an effort to support snow crab levels, but they were not implemented. We should have done something more drastic before, but now it is necessary. I understand the impact on the economy and everything, but if this resource is gone the impact will be felt much harder.” (Times/Transcript April 9th, 2010) Somewhere we needed to make a decision; and that happened this year.

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Winter Skate Rejected

Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 5 – Issue 4 March 2010

By IKANAWTIKET Joshua McNeely and MAPC MAARS Director Roger Hunka

wskate1

It is with regret that we have to inform you that on December 5th, Governor-in-Council (Federal Cabinet) decided not to add three Atlantic populations of Winter Skate to the SARA Schedule 1. This in effect means that a decision has been made not to grant protection or recovery measures to the endangered and threatened Winter Skate population in Atlantic Canada – Life Denied Winter Skate.

The Winter Skate belongs to the shark family and, like the sharks, skates are slow growing and produce only a few young every couple of years. These characteristics make the three Winter Skate populations susceptible to overfishing, by-catch, and, in particular, habitat destruction of their nurseries, where the female lays egg pouches (called purses). Purses remain attached to the bottom for up to 22 months, while the eggs incubate. During this time, they are easily destroyed by trawling and dredging gear, which can bulldoze there way through an area every couple of years, especially when dredging for scallops and clams. Skate are endemic to the NW Atlantic, with most Skate populations occurring in Canadian waters.

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Concerned about Dogfish – try Rock Salmon instead

Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 5 – Issue 3 December 2009

By IKANAWTIKET Joshua McNeely

The first question my wife asks when we sit down at a restaurant or stop by the fish counter at the grocery store is, “What about this fish, can I eat that”? So there we are, holding up the line, while I dig through my wallet to find my trusty SeaChoice Pocket Guide to the fish we like to eat. Is Rock Salmon on their list of endangered fish?

I scan the list for the thousandth time and I’m still amazed at all the names in the red (avoid) category. Various stocks of Shark, Cod, Tuna, Halibut, Flounder, and even Clams. Many of the fish we ate while growing up are increasingly at risk around the world due to over-fishing and habitat destruction. There are some positive steps happening though. News stories here and there of groups of fishermen trying to conserve a particular commercial stock or using a less harmful gear type. I’ve come to learn that there is a huge difference between a dragged oyster, a farmed oyster, and an oyster fished by individual divers. Through SeaChoice in Canada, and others like Seafood Watch in the USA, information is much more available to consumers, at the point-of-sale, about which fish stocks are threatened and which are sustainably harvested. Information is readily available through pocket guides, websites, and even up-todate regional electronic guides sent directly to your mobile phone.

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The Lobster Sustainability Measures

Source: Netawek Ikjikum Vol. 5 – Issue 3 December 2009

By MAARS PEI AMDO Naomi Crane

In July 2009, Minister Gail Shea announced $65 million toward the wounded Lobster Industry as a reaction to falling prices in Atlantic Canada’s most lucrative fishery.

This $65 million announcement has a two part implementation plan. Part one is the Short Term Transitional Measures Plan which utilizes $15 million to offer each lobster license holder a Transitional Contribution to help offset the short term loss of profits. This applies to all lobster license holders who have earned income in the 2008 and 2009 lobster seasons. It only applies to those license holders who received less than $50,000 in the 2009 lobster season and can show they are at least 75% dependant on the lobster industry. License holders also have to show a 25% decrease in revenues from 2008 – 2009 lobster fishing seasons to obtain the maximum allowable payment of $5,000. All payments are taxable. DFO estimates there will be 3,000 license holders who will be eligible for the payment.

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