A confrontation between the Heiltsuk First Nation and the federal government that threatened to erupt into a "war on the water" appears to have ended with the commercial fleet leaving the central coast, where the industry had been waiting for a disputed fishery to open.

"We're pretty ecstatic here," Carrie Humchitt, legal services co-ordinator for the Heiltsuk said Wednesday. "We're just waiting for official confirmation, but we've received word through channels that all of the industry boats will be pulling out."

She said the First Nation, which is based in Bella Bella, had given the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) until noon to close the waters of the central coast to the commercial gill net fleet, which had been waiting for nearly a week to fish for an allocated harvest of 600 tonnes of herring.

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