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Hall Beach selected for additional bowhead whale hunt this summer

NR 08-24 BOW ENG 2nd Bowhead Hunt.doc

(June 3, 2008 – Iqaluit, Nunavut) The Wildlife Policy Advisory Committee comprised of the chairs of each of the regional wildlife organizations and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. has selected the community of Hall Beach for a second bowhead whale hunt to take place in Nunavut this summer. The first community that was selected for a bowhead whale hunt will also to take place this summer in Kugaaruk.

The eastern Arctic bowhead population is now considered to number in the several thousands, between 5,000 and 43,000. New scientific evidence also suggests that the bowhead whales in the eastern Arctic are wide ranging and belong to one stock. This information is consistent with Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and the results of the final report of the Inuit Bowhead Knowledge Study.

Based on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and recent scientific information, NTI had requested an increase in the bowhead total allowable harvest to meet the needs of Inuit. Greenland and Nunavik are also expected to harvest bowhead whales this summer. In light of the significant increase in the population estimate of eastern Arctic bowheads, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board has responded positively to the NTI request and increased the total allowable harvest of bowheads from one to two for this summer. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has also approved the decision.

The community of Hall Beach is expecting to harvest a bowhead whale around mid July 2008. NTI will be working closely with the community on the development of the hunt plan and the provision of equipment.

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