Foreign investors allegedly looking to illegally purchase Nova Scotia inshore lobster licenses
Nova Scotia’s lobster fishery is being illegally bought up by foreign investors, alleges the Canadian Independent Harvesters’ Federation.
The national fishermen’s organization is concerned that, if nothing is done, Canada’s booming inshore fisheries could soon be controlled from abroad. According to the organization, foreign investors have been advertising in local newspapers, looking to buy lobster licenses in lucrative Nova Scotia fishing areas.
“The government is moving too slowly to deal with this problem. We need urgent action,” said Christian Brun, the organization’s president. “This is against Atlantic Canadian policy in fisheries; the only person who can own an inshore lobster fishing license is a Canadian inshore fisherman; someone who lives in a fishing community and goes to work on a fishing boat he or she owns and operates."
Even domestic investors who advertise for licenses in newspapers are committing an illegal act, Brun noted.
“Domestic and international investors are breaking the law and advertising in newspapers,” he said.
The federation is asking the government to make amendments to the Fisheries Act as a means to protect fishermen, communities and habitats from such activity, and to enforce current aspects of the policy more strictly.
“If the government continues to ignore the problem there will be a massive shift in the distribution of the wealth away from fishermen and coastal communities towards investors in urban areas and other countries,” said Brun. “It will create an intergenerational employment crisis in fishing communities and permanently reverse the social and economic achievements of past policies in the fishery.”