Environment | Law

Mashpee Wampanoag man sues town in fishing rights dispute

A member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts who won a fishing rights case in 1999 is back in court.

In 1999, the state Supreme Court upheld a decision that said tribal members are protected by a 1749 treaty and by their aboriginal rights. But the ruling didn't stop the town of Mattapoisett from seizing David Greene's shellfish last October.

“Fishing is part of my life, my culture, and my religion,’’ Greene told The Boston Globe. “It’s an important part of who I am. I have the right to hunt and fish, without interference, and to have someone verbally and physically attack me is unacceptable.’’

Greene is referring to Kenneth R. Pacheco, the town's former deputy shellfish warden. Greene has named Pacheco, who retired after the incident, in his lawsuit.

The town claims that it can regulate fishing by tribal members in the absence of direction in state law.

Get the Story:
Wampanoag embroiled in a battle over fishing (The Boston Globe 4/1)

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