NTI to Participate in DFO’s Narwhal Consultations
Released | February 15, 2012 | Print this article
Nunavut Tunngavik Vice-President James Eetoolook today said NTI will participate in community consultations with officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in order to gain feedback on a draft Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for narwhal, and to discuss the total allowable harvest levels for narwhal.
The draft plan is a result of three meetings held last year between the co-management partners as part of an alternative resolution to the legal action NTI launched against DFO after DFO restricted international trade in narwhal tusks without consulting Inuit. NTI halted the legal action in June, 2011, after DFO agreed to participate in consultations with Inuit on decisions on narwhal harvesting and trade.
In the management plan, DFO plans to introduce a new management system based on the summering stocks of narwhals. The summering stock approach is proposed to establish total allowable harvest levels for each different stock. The total allowable harvest levels for each stock will then be allocated to Hunters and Trappers Organizations by the Regional Wildlife Organizations. It is anticipated that some HTOs will see an increase in their annual narwhal allocation, while other HTOs will see a decrease in the annual allocation. HTOs will then allocate tags to their members.
The narwhal management plan is essential in protecting the international trade of narwhal tusks and contains recommendations on sustainable harvesting of narwhal in Nunavut. The goal of the plan is to ensure all narwhal co-management partners follow their responsibilities to ensure the harvest is sustainable and well managed.
The draft plan now requires HTOs and Inuit to make decisions and provide advice and input on the management of narwhal. RWOs, HTOs, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and the Government of Nunavut will also participate in the community consultations.
“The draft plan is based on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and scientific knowledge,” explained Eetoolook. “However, there are areas in the plan where there is a lack of consensus between NTI and DFO. These areas will be identified and addressed during consultations. It is critical that Inuit participate in the community consultations because the management plan represents an important change in how narwhals are managed” he said.
DFO will hold nine consultation meetings and will include RWO and HTO participants from the 23 communities that harvest narwhal. Elders, hunters and community members are encouraged to attend the consultations to contribute their knowledge to the development of the draft plan.
DFO and NWMB need to approve the plan by January, 2013, before Canada heads to Thailand to participate in CITES’ Convention of the Parties in March, 2013.
Community Consultation Schedule
Pangnirtung – March 19-20, 2012
Qikiqtarjuaq – March 21-22, 2012
Clyde River – March 23-24, 2012
Pond Inlet – March 26-27, 2012
Arctic Bay – March 28-29, 2012
Grise Fiord – March 23-24, 2012
Iqaluit – March 31, 2012
The meeting in Iqaluit includes two representatives each from Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, Qikiqtarjuaq, Clyde River, Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay.
Kugaaruk – March 19-20, 2012
The meeting in Kugaaruk includes two representatives each from Hall Beach, Igloolik, Resolute Bay, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak and Cambridge Bay.
Repulse Bay – March 21-22, 2012
The meeting in Repulse Bay includes two representatives each from Rankin Inlet, Coral Harbour, Chesterfield Inlet, Baker Lake, Whale Cove, Arviat, Cape Dorset, Kimmirut, Hall Beach, Igloolik.For further information:
Director of Communications
|Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated|
|Tel: (867) 975-4914|
NTI to Participate in DFO’s Narwhal Consultations (pdf)