British Columbia

Haida Nation wins injunction against commercial fishery on Haida Gwaii

A First Nation in Haida Gwaii, B.C., says it has won an injunction to block a planned herring roe fishery on its territory.

Federal Court judge rules risk of "irreparable harm" if commercial fishery allowed to operate

The Haida Nation said it has won an injunction to stop a commercial fishery off Haida Gwaii. (Klas Stolpe/Associated Press)

A First Nation in Haida Gwaii, B.C., says it has won an injunction to block a planned herring roe fishery on its territory.

The Haida Nation says a Federal Court judge found there is a risk of "irreparable harm" if a large commercial fishery is allowed to open in the community on the north coast.

The nation says the ruling acknowledged Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a "heightened duty" to accommodate the Haida, given their constitutional rights and environmental concerns.

Nation president Peter Lantin says the win is a step toward rebuilding herring stocks, and he hopes Fisheries and Oceans will start working with the nation to develop sustainable fisheries.

A year ago, the Haida joined two other First Nations to oppose a plan to open a commercial herring fishery that had been closed on Vancouver Island since 2006.

Last March, a Federal Court judge granted an injunction stopping the opening, saying the fisheries minister went against the advice of scientists in her own department.

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