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Stz'uminus First Nation planning blockade

Ongoing concerns around the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s handling of commercial fishing licenses has the Stz’uminus First Nation planning a blockade.

They want to stop boats, including DFO vessels and commercial fishing boats, from entering the coastal waters along their territory.

Ray Gauthier, CEO of the Coast Salish Development Corporation, says they’re not happy with how the federal government has dealt with fishing rights in their territory.

Gauthier says at the same time, they’ve been repeatedly denied the right to a geoduck aquaculture license on their own territory.

Gauthier says they’ve sent letter to DFO and the provincial government outlining their concerns. He says the letters are a warning. So far they haven’t actually blocked any boats from fishing in their territory.

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Fisheries and Ocean Minister Gail Shea has issued a written statement, saying there are ongoing discussions with the Stz’uminus First Nation. DFO’s only response so far has been to say that they and the RCMP work with fishermen and First Nations to ensure the safety of everyone on the water, and they’re against violence on the water.

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