Update Regarding Elver (Glass Eel) Fishery Opening Date and Registration Information

 

Update Regarding Elver (Glass Eel) Fishery Opening Date and Registration Information

 

DFO and Sitansisk Fisheries have reached an agreement, with the 2023 season set to open on April 8, following a planned open house shortly after fisher registration launches. Harvester cards will first be issued at this open house event. Members will be required to register via a Sitansisk-specific registration portal (Hosted by WNNB but separate from the previously shared registration portal and comanaged by Sitansisk). Members seeking to register must be 18 or older, reside in New Brunswick[1], and must agree to the terms listed in the registration document which is summarized below. The creation of this agreement and its licences does not alter, suspend, or extinguish any indigenous treaty rights we hold as Wolastoqey people.

 

The total catch approved for Sitansisk members for the 2023 season is 185 kilograms, with registered members being authorized to sell 1 kilogram of harvested fish every 48 hours. The season will end when the quota has been filled. Licences will be non-transferable and require the licence holders to be present for all stages including harvesting, transportation, and sale. Members who fail to comply with the regulations set forth in the licence agreement may have their licence invalidated for the season and may not be eligible for financial or legal assistance from Sitansisk.

 

Members will be permitted to use a maximum of two fyke nets and must maintain a safe distance from one another. Any equipment left behind by members will be considered abandoned and subject to removal from waterways. Fishers will be required to have personal floatation devices (PFDs/Lifejackets) and must harvest in a safe manner. Members may request a reimbursement of up to $50 for the purchase of a new personal floatation device at payout (A proof of purchase/Receipt will be required to receive reimbursement.)

 

There will be an administrative fee of 2% of gross revenue to cover the costs associated with safety equipment (see above), cheque preparation and staffing, as well as legal fees to ensure members who abide by the agreement are protected in the event of wrongful prosecution by DFO or the RCMP.

 

A list of recommended equipment, as well as a short summary of best practices for new fishers to the program will be available at an open house event. At this open house, members may request information on best practices, maps of the areas around the waterways included under this agreement, and fisheries staff will be on hand to issue harvester cards to fishers. After this open house, fishers may contact fisheries staff (Jeremy Paul, Dennis Paul) at the Band Office at the +1 (506) 459-9511 to request their harvester card during its operational hours.

 

A list of approved harvesting sites will be provided during the registration. Members are urged to utilize only these sites. There is an injunction related to ongoing legal disputes between Sitansisk and a private licence holder which empowers RCMP officers to intervene if an injunction is being violated[2]; Sitansisk cannot render assistance if a member is detained for violating this injunction. We continue to work with our legal team, DFO, WNNB, and other partners to resolve this matter and appreciate the community’s understanding on this matter.

 

Woliwon,

Sitansisk Fisheries and Chief and Council

[1] Members living abroad who will be available to fish are encouraged to contact Sitansisk Fisheries, who will make the necessary arrangements to issue a licence.

[2] Members are not obligated to identify themselves to individuals not operating as agents of the Crown (DFO or RCMP) – If someone not in uniform asks a member to identify themselves, it is advisable to request they identify themselves as a member of an enforcement agency.