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Lobster protests: Nova Scotia RCMP arrest two at wharf in Weymouth

Last Updated Sep 18, 2020 at 2:54 pm EDT

Members of the Sipekne'katik First Nation prepare to go fishing in Saulnierville, N.S., as it launches its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. The Nova Scotia RCMP say they have responded to complaints about mischief and threats after a First Nation started a commercial lobster fishing operation this week in Saulnierville, even though the regular fishing season is closed.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

WEYMOUTH, N.S. — RCMP say two people were arrested Friday and accused of assault at a wharf in western Nova Scotia, where there were reports of ugly confrontations over a First Nation’s commercial lobster fishing operation.

Some non-Indigenous fishermen say they believe the Indigenous business is illegal because the regular fishing season is now closed — but the Sipekne’katik First Nation says their people have a treaty right to fish at any time.

The Mounties say no one was injured at the wharf in Weymouth, and the two suspects were arrested and escorted from the scene.

They were later released from custody and are expected to appear in court at a later date.

Images shared on social media show what appear to be scores of fishermen gathered near the wharf.

The RCMP in Meteghan say they responded to complaints about mischief and threats on Thursday after three Indigenous fishing crews sailed out of the harbour in nearby Saulnierville to set lobster traps in St. Marys Bay.

RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said the Mounties had a boat on the water and a helicopter overhead.

She said the RCMP are talking with the local community, the Sipekne’katik band and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

“We will remain in Saulnierville to ensure public and police safety, and to keep the peace,” Clarke said in a statement. “The RCMP will take the actions necessary should there be any criminal activities.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2020.

The Canadian Press