Media Centre

Nunavut Tunngavik Disappointed by Polar Bear Quota Reduction

(Rankin Inlet, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Vice-President of Finance Raymond Ningeocheak today said he was disappointed with the decision to reduce the Total Allowable Harvest on the Baffin Bay polar bear population from 105 to 65 over the next four years. The decision was announced today by Government of Nunavut Environment Minister Daniel Shewchuk. The quota will be reduced gradually by 10 bears per year until the new quota is reached.

Ningeocheak said he was concerned by the decision because it was based on outdated scientific population information, and reversed the decision the GN made in October, 2008, not to reduce the quota after consulting Inuit.

“The first decision was based on Inuit values and principles. This new decision creates a conflict between contemporary wildlife management systems and Inuit,” said Ningeocheak.

Ningeocheak is asking Minister Shewchuk to compensate Inuit from the affected communities, which include Pond Inlet, Clyde River and Qikiqtarjuaq. “The minister must ensure that Inuit who have been impacted by the government’s decision are duly compensated. This reduction will profoundly impact the Inuit economy in those communities.”

Ningeocheak said Inuit report that the polar bear population in the area has increased in the last decade, but the GN maintains it has significantly decreased. The GN has indicated they plan to conduct a new population survey in Baffin Bay.

For further information:
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated