Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Vice-President James Eetoolook announced that the Regional Wildlife Organizations in Kitikmeot, Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk approved an interim narwhal carry-over policy for tags not used by hunters in 2013.
The interim carry-over policy will allow the RWOs to reallocate, the tags that were not used in 2013 to hunters in 2014 within the same summering stock. RWO approval of the interim policy means the new system will now go to the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board for approval at the next regular meeting in Mar. 2014.
The interim carry-over policy is part of the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for narwhal that was developed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in consultation with NTI, RWOs and Hunters and Trappers Organizations in 2012. The plan established a total allowable harvest for narwhal that respects Inuit harvesting rights and promotes the sustainable harvest and trade of narwhal. NTI played a major role in the development of the plan.
“By working together, NTI and DFO developed an interim carry-over proposal that will address the issue of unused narwhal tags for the 2014 season,” said Eetoolook. “This is another positive example of how the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement is benefitting Inuit by respecting our right to harvest.”
DFO has committed to developing a flexible quota system for narwhal by 2015. It is expected that it will replace the interim policy.