Seizure raises stakes in Passamaquoddy Tribe fishing dispute

The Maine Marine Patrol seized nets from three Passamaquoddy fishermen on Sunday, escalating a battle over jurisdiction and sovereignty.

The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point and the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township issued 575 elver fishing licenses this season. The state contends the tribes most of the licenses are illegal so it sent the Marine Patrol to issue summonses to tribal fishermen.

“I told them that they did not have jurisdiction,” Newell Lewey a Pleasant Point council member, told The Bangor Daily News.

An emergency bill that was signed into law on March 21, the day before the elver season, purportedly limits the tribes to 200 licenses -- 150 for fyke net use anywhere in the state and 50 dip-net permits in the St. Croix River, the paper reported.

Get the Story:
Sovereignty battle brewing over elver dispute between Passamaquoddy, state government (The Bangor Daily News 4/1)
Passamaquoddys: Catch quota better way to protect elvers than fishing license limit (The Bangor Daily News 3/31)
Passamaquoddys issue far more elver licenses than allowed by law (The Bangor Daily News 3/29

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