The Membertou Department of Natural Resources (MNR) was formed in 1992 as a result of the Sparrow Decision in which Federal legislation provided aboriginal persons protection and harvest priority of fish resources after conservation levels are met. Harvested fish resources can be used for food, social or ceremonial (FSC) purposes.
The Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), whose mandate is for the protection, conservation and management of our fishery resources developed the Aboriginal Fishery Strategy Program (AFS) to co-manage the fishery resources between Aboriginal groups, commerical and non commercial fishermen.
As a result of the AFS program, fishery management agreements were made between the DFO and Membertou Band Council to provide a mechanism for the harvest, protection and conservation of fishery resources. A communal fishing licence was issued to the Membertou Band Council which outlines harvestable fish species requirements, seasons, quotas, gear requirements, etc.
Membertou Natural Resources department staff consists of a Manager who is also trained by DFO and carries the designation of an Aboriginal Fishery Guardian whom operates under the Director of Fisheries of the Membertou Band. MNR also has qualified seasonal technicians who help in the daily operations of the department.
The MNR Manager/Fishery Guardians plans, organizes, directs and oversees all natural resources related activities, including FSC harvesting, fishery, forestry, wildlife, environmental, mineral, land and water based activities. This includes the conservation, protection and restoration of our Natural Resources for the Membertou Band Council. The manager coordinates all operations of the Membertou Band's interests in the above activities.
Please follow the link to learn more about The Aboriginal Fishing Strategy