HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia Mounties are investigating the sinking of a fishing vessel in Saulnierville that belonged to a member of the Sipekne'katik First Nation.

Police say the boat was tied up since Friday evening, and no one was aboard when it sank.

A spokesperson with the First Nation says a handful of boats had begun fishing for 'food', 'social' and 'ceremonial-purposes.'

The spokesperson said the First Nation plans to bring the catch back to the community but sell a portion to cover costs like gas and lodging.

Ottawa has maintained ceremonial catches cannot be bought, sold or traded legally.