Hubert Nicholas must have salt water in his blood! He’s been out on the ocean fishing for as long as he can remember. He started working professionally as a fisherman’s helper in 1988 and eventually became Captain of his own commercial fishing business. Over the years, he’s fished lobster, snow crab, herring, rock crab, tuna and mackerel.
This first-hand knowledge of the industry made Hubert an excellent candidate for UINR’s Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator position that was established in 2008.
Hubert works for all of the commercial fishers in Unama’ki and, on their behalf, he attends meetings that affect any of our commercial fisheries and reports back to each community’s Fishery Managers on DFO and Industry decisions that may affect them. This information helps managers to make decisions that benefit their communities and their fishery. Hubert voices concerns regarding management issues that are raised in meetings.
Hubert explains, It is interesting attending meetings on commercial fisheries now that I am not actively fishing, seeing the process unfold and how DFO involves industry and science. Sometimes the final decisions may not be well-received, but they usually seek industry and science advice to help with decisions. I can’t wait until the day that Mi’kmaq are totally involved in co-management of the fishery and are asked for management advice at the decision level instead of just sitting at the table as another member of industry. The definition of co-management is different for the federal and provincial governments than what the Mi’kmaq believe it to be. When the governments agree to a definition then we can move to the next step and define what a livelihood fishery will be for the Unama’ki Mi’kmaq communities as defined by the Marshall decision.
In addition to his life-long involvement in the commercial fisheries, Hubert worked with Kwilmu’k Maw-klusuaqn (KMK) as a consultation liaison coordinator before joining us at UINR.
Hubert is a member of the Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management Initiative, a collaborative ocean management and planning process facilitated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He is also participates in meetings of the Bras d’Or Lakes Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative.
When not embroiled in commercial fisheries issues, Hubert spends his off time with his wife and three kids. When they aren’t too busy with hockey, ballet, jazz dance, baseball and tennis, he likes to take his kids hunting and fishing.
Hubert says, I love to work with the team at UINR because there are always interesting conversations about the different aspects that each person deals with regarding natural resources. I have learned a lot about Unama’ki and the impact that UINR has on the management of its natural resources.
UINR made me realize that conservation is the key and without the resource there is no right to it. Conversations with UINR staff help me realize that conservation and Netuklimk is the key to preserving all resources available for our future use and benefit.