Environment

MPBN: State tries to place fish limits on Passamaquoddy Tribe





The state of Maine continues efforts to impose fishing limits on the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point and the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township:
The Passamaquoddys handed out 575 elver licenses last spring, instead of the 200 approved by the state. The way the tribe sees it, its fishing and hunting grounds are sovereign territory, governed exclusively by tribal law.

Not so, argues the administration of Gov. Paul LePage. A year ago, this basic dispute led to license checks, confiscation of tribal fishing gear, misdemeanor charges against Passamaquoddy fishermen and lots of angry confrontation by the water's edge.

"Are we headed there? I'm not sure. I mean we're still trying to do our best to negotiate in the utmost, best faith with the state," says Passamaquoddy Tribal Council member Newell Lewey.

But this week in Augusta, Lewey says the tribes efforts suffered a major setback. On Wednesday, the Legislature's Marine Resources Committee voted 8-1 to require licensed tribal fishermen to abide by limits on how many elvers they can catch.

Get the Story:
Elver Fishing Dispute Between Maine, Tribes Escalates (Maine Public Broadcasting Network 2/20)

Also Today:
Panel endorses changes to tribal elver bill, deal ‘pretty much gone,’ says tribe (The Bangor Daily News 2/20)

Related Stories:
Maine tribes criticize state for pulling out of fishing agreement (2/19)
Passamaquoddy Tribe makes progress on state fishing talks (01/30)
Charges dismissed against trio of Passamaquoddy fishermen (8/13)
Passamaquoddy Tribe continues to exercising fishing rights (04/30)
Letter: State mistreats fishermen from Passamaquoddy Tribe (04/17)
Passamaquoddy leaders cite threat from governor on fishing (04/02)