A Sipekne’katik band councillor says a lobster pound he owns in southwestern Nova Scotia was destroyed by fire in the early hours on Christmas Day.
Alex McDonald said he was contacted by the RCMP about the fire at his lobster pound located in the tiny community of Saint Bernard near Weymouth, N.S.
According to McDonald, the lobster pound was completely destroyed in the fire.
The RCMP confirmed in an email that it received a call about a fire at the lobster pound in Saint Bernard, N.S. at 4:45 a.m on Christmas Day. RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
McDonald declined to be interviewed by phone on Tuesday because he said he and his family fear for their personal safety. However, he did confirm in several text messages to Ku’ku’kwes News about the fire at his lobster pound.
Second time fishery property destroyed by fire
This is the second time McDonald has had his lobster fishery property destroyed by fire. In October, his lobster boat, named Buck and Doe, was taken from a wharf in Comeauville, N.S. and set on fire in St. Mary’s Bay.
McDonald is currently taking part in the commercial lobster fishery in LFA 34 under a commercial fishing license issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the Sipekne’katik Band in Nova Scotia.
There have been tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fisherman in southwestern Nova Scotia since September.
At the time, non-Indigenous fishermen in the region alleged that Indigenous fishermen were catching and selling lobster while the commercial fishery in the area was closed. They accused the Indigenous fishermen of abusing their right to catch lobster for food and ceremonial purposes.
The commercial lobster fishery has been open in the region since late November.