lobster dispute nova scotia

Toronto restaurant boycotting Nova Scotia lobster in support of Indigenous fishers

A Toronto restaurant is boycotting all lobster for the foreseeable future in solidarity with Mi'kmaq fisheries and treaty rights.

Oyster Boy posted the news of their action on social media. While restaurants in Nova Scotia have already been removing lobster from their menus in support of fishers who have been victims of violence in an ongoing dispute with non-Indigenous fishers, this is one of the first in Toronto to do the same.

Adam Colquhoun, owner and founder of Oyster Boy, says that as Toronto is the largest market in Canada, if he can have some influence on how people perceive this conflict, keep eyes on Nova Scotia and try to speak out against violence happening, he feels obligated to do so.

He says it's a "way to create awareness" and also "kick ourselves in the butt." Though he was technically using lobster from PEI and "doesn't want to punish other fishers doing it right," he's currently working on sourcing lobster from a Mi'kmaq fishery in Nova Scotia.

"I have a place in my heart for First Nations, they were basically robbed, they've been here for thousands of years. That's sickening, that really makes me sick. We should be asking them, can we live on your land," says Colquhoun. "It's a great time to show solidarity, we gotta straighten this stuff out."

So how can other Toronto restaurants show their support of Mi'kmaq fishers, and try to rectify in some way the wrongs that have been perpetrated against First Nations in so-called Canada for so long?

"Take lobster off the menu and social network it because it's a powerful tool. Every corner of Toronto should know," says Colquhoun. "We should be shining a light on these dark corners. Read about First Nations, educate yourselves."

Colquhoun says that even taking lobster off a restaurant menu for a week or two would make a statement and an impact. He's hoping to get some First Nations lobster in not only for himself, but also to distribute.

"We know most fisheries are fine but it's just more to create awareness," says Colquhoun. "It's a little bit of pain for long term gain for everyone."

Lead photo by

Paul Joseph

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