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Nova Scotia restaurants boycott lobster in support of Mi'kmaq self-regulated fishery

A crate of lobsters sits on the sidewalk as Cheryl Maloney, a member of the Sipekne'katik First Nation, sells lobster outside the legislature in Halifax on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Tensions remain high over an Indigenous-led lobster fishery, based on their treaty rights, as non-Indigenous fishermen want federal regulations enforced to address their concerns about conservation of the resource. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX — Restaurants in Nova Scotia are cutting lobster from their menu in support of Mi’kmaq fishers, who have been targeted with violence in a dispute with commercial harvesters.

Matt Boyle, co-owner of Dear Friend bar in Dartmouth, N.S., said today he removed the lobster roll from his menu as a way to raise awareness to the conflict between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers.

Boyle says he received some backlask on social media but says his patrons and colleagues in the local bar community have been supportive.

Kourosh Rad, owner of Garden Food Bar in Halifax, says his restaurant will keep the crustacean off the menu until he can buy the product from Indigenous fishers.

Commercial fishers are angry the Mi’kmaq have started a self-regulated lobster fishery that harvests the animals outside the federally regulated fishing season.

The RCMP is investigating a fire over the weekend that destroyed a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico containing the lobster catch of Mi’kmaq fishers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press