"‘It Doesn’t Go Away’: Another Violent Fishing Season In Atlantic Canada"

"East Coast fishers have weathered arson, gunshots and harassment. Conflict and turmoil will likely continue until the Canadian government addresses Indigenous Rights head on".

"In the early morning dark of April 12, 2023, violence erupted along a Nova Scotia riverbank after a man engaged a woman and a youth in a heated argument. Soon after, seven people arrived. One allegedly assaulted the man with a pipe while another stood nearby wielding a knife and a taser. When the RCMP later arrested two members of the group a short distance away, the officers found two shotguns and a taser.

The altercation is just one of a series of violent disputes that broke out along rivers across the province in March and April, with people reporting being threatened at gunpoint or with knives. In one instance, a young person was hit in the head. In another, a man was shot in the leg.

At the center of this fighting is a lucrative bounty: translucent, toothpick-sized young American eels, known as elvers. Elvers currently sell for roughly $5,000 per kilogram, the most valuable commercial fish in Canada by weight. The fishery is worth nearly $50 million, and the pressure to maximize profit during the brief 10-week harvest contributes to tensions among fishers."

Moira Donovan reports for The Narwhal June 5, 2023.

Source: The Narwhal, 06/06/2023