Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Vice-President James Eetoolook said NTI fully supports the Government of Nunavut’s moratorium on harvesting caribou from the population located on Baffin Island. Environment Minister Johnny Mike recently announced the interim decision based on support from the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. Scientific aerial and ground surveys show the Baffin Island caribou population is estimated between 3,462 to 6,250 caribou, which is a decline of 90 per cent since the 1990s.
“This was not an easy decision to make, but it is the decision that is needed in order to give the Baffin Island caribou population time to recover. Unless drastic steps are taken immediately, the recovery of this caribou population will take several decades more to recover,” said Eetoolook.
The minister’s interim decision gives wildlife management partners time to formulate a management plan governed by the principles of conservation to restore and revitalize the depleted Baffin Island caribou. The NWMB will now conduct a public hearing into the matter and will send its decision to the Environment minister on the future harvesting of caribou from the Baffin Island population. Because this process takes eight to 10 months, the GN implemented the interim moratorium to prevent further decline while the new management plan is developed.
“This decision is in accordance with NLCA Article 5.3.24, which allows the Environment minister to make an interim decision in the event of urgent and unusual circumstances