After five years of research, community meetings and discussions with Elders and fishers, UINR is proud to announce the release of a new publication on Bras d’Or Lakes eels. At first, five years sounds like a long time but when you consider that the publication summarizes thousands of years of Mi’kmaq ecological knowledge, it doesn’t seem so long after all!

Kataq–Mi’kmaq Ecological Knowledge: Bras d’Or Lakes Eels is written by UINR’s Shelley Denny, Angela Denny and Tyson Paul, but they are quick to credit the dozens of Elders and community fishers who freely shared their observations, practical knowledge and stories about fishing eels in the Bras d’Or Lakes.

Until now there has been little documentation on Mi’kmaq Ecological Knowledge (MEK) available for use in scientific assessments, management plans and recovery strategies. UINR is a leading organization in the collection, interpretation and storage of MEK for this region.

In addition to information on  the value of eels and eel fishing and traditional resource management of eels, the publication also looks at the current state of the eel population in the Bras d’Or Lakes. An outline of Mi’kmaq concerns and a call for action conclude the publication with recommendations to communities and governments to ensure that eels continue to play an important role in the day-to-day life of the Mi’kmaq people in Unama’ki.

A limited number of printed copies are available and you can download a free copy here.


We dedicate this publication to the many eel fishers of Unama’ki, past and present, who inspired us with their thoughtful insights, humour and passion for eels.