Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Acting President James Eetoolook said today the narwhal Integrated Fisheries Management Plan was approved by the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield.
The management plan was developed by DFO in consultation with NTI, Regional Wildlife Organizations and Hunter and Trappers Organizations in an attempt to establish a total allowable harvest for narwhal that respects Inuit harvesting rights while promoting the sustainable harvesting and trade of narwhal.
Eetoolook said NTI played a major role in instigating and developing the management plan over the last two years, resulting in the development of a culturally appropriate management plan. “At times, the development of the plan was very difficult, but in the end, Inuit now have a management plan in place that we feel meets our needs and respects our harvesting rights,” said Eetoolook.
The management plan governs the harvest of narwhal in Nunavut. It will be implemented through the establishment of total allowable harvests from the summering stocks of narwhal.
There will be a workshop to allocate the new total allowable harvest Feb. 12-14, 2013, in Iqaluit. RWOs and HTOs that harvest Baffin Bay narwhal will attend the workshop and use the management plan to determine the number of narwhal tags each HTO will be allocated by their RWO. One particularly notable aspect of the plan includes an increase in Grise Fiord’s narwhal harvest from 20 to 50 narwhal from Jones Sound.
The NWMB and DFO Minister Ashfield have not yet set the total allowable harvest for north Hudson Bay. When that is complete, a second workshop will take place for the affected HTOs.