Steneck speaks with BBC about Canada’s decades-long lobster feud

Robert Steneck, a professor of oceanography, marine biology and marine policy at the University of Maine, spoke with BBC News about the Sipekne’katik First Nation’s lobster fishery, which it launched in September. The Sipekne’katik created the fishery, which operates outside of the Nova Scotia’s commercial fishery, in response to what the tribe says is a lack of enforcement of a 1999 Supreme Court ruling establishing that they “had the right to not just sustain themselves by hunting and fishing, but to earn a ‘moderate livelihood,’ even in the off-season,” according to the BBC. Commercial fishermen, however, demand that the government shut it down, with some worrying it may affect the sustainability of the fishery. Steneck said given the small size of the Sipekne’katik’s fishery, it should have a limited effect on lobster populations. “Frankly, I don’t think it really makes a difference,” he said.