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Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) Fishery in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

Release date: September 2022
Infographic: Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) Fishery in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
Description: Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) Fishery in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

The Constitution recognizes and the Supreme Court of Canada clarified, through the 1990 Sparrow decision, that Aboriginal people have the right to fish for food, social and ceremonial (FSC) purposes. This right can only be limited or infringed if justified in specific circumstances, such as for conservation purposes.

To authorize and support the exercise of this right within an integrated fisheries management and regulatory framework, DFO issues FSC licences to Indigenous communities across Canada for a variety of species, including lobster.

Licences specify the species and various conditions in place to manage the fishery (geographic area, level of effort, conservation measures) under which Indigenous communities can exercise this right.

Fish harvested under FSC licences are to be used for food, social and ceremonial purposes only, and cannot be sold, bartered or traded, which is stated as a condition of licence in all FSC licences.

Seasons vary by species and fishing area. Many FSC fisheries are open year-round and occur outside of commercial seasons.

DFO is actively working to collaborate with Indigenous communities to better understand their needs and objectives related to FSC fisheries, so that these needs can be accounted for in the Department's integrated fisheries management plans.

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