Yes, it is true....beginning this year, there will be a four year agreement with the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag Band for the ban of gillnet subsistance fishing in the estuary of the Cascapedia River. An agreement was reached between Québec and the Band on Friday.
I would just like to make sure that everyone is aware that it is the Gesgapegiag Band that initiated the negotiations to lift the nets in the river. It is not something that was forced upon them by any one. The Band simply made the decision that since the salmon resource seems to be on a decline, that they would negotiate to receive compensation for job creation and economic development in exchange for the decision to not exercise their right to the subsistance fishery.
Chief Guy Condo and the Band Council worked very hard over the past months to conclude this agreement with the government. It is ironic to note, but when Guy was chief in 1989, he signed on behalf of the Band the first agreement that limited the number of netting days on the Cascapedia. Here we are 20 years later, and he has been successful at concluding an agreement to completely lift the nets!! This is quite the achievement and I am very proud of him. By the way, Chief Condo just happens to be my husband...
We have worked very hard on this agreement, as have many other people as well.
We are very anxious to see what the impacts this agreement will have on the salmon counts for the Cascapedia. Our clients, as well as the clients of the Society and the other camps on the river have witnessed the declines in the number of fish and hopefully, we will also witness their increase in numbers.
I hope that people will appreciate and applaud the actions of the Gesgapegiag Band in this important file. I just want to add that the community members supported this agreement through a survey at 99.9999%. Only 1 person was against the agreement.