Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Vice-President James Eetoolook and other Nunavut wildlife representatives will travel to Inukjuak in Nunavik next week, Feb. 12-14, to attend the Nunavik Marine Regional Wildlife Board’s public hearing that will consider establishing a total allowable take of polar bears for the south Hudson Bay sub-population within the Nunavik Offshore Area.
Nunavut has had a polar bear management system and quotas in place for 40 years, while Nunavik is just in the process of establishing these. Eetoolook said Nunavut representatives were attending the public hearing as observers to share their experience and knowledge on the management system in Nunavut. The south Hudson Bay subpopulation of polar bears is shared between hunters in Sanikiluaq and Nunavik communities.
The request by Environment Canada to establish a total allowable take in Nunavik comes following an increase in the number of bears harvested by hunters from Nunavik in recent years. Inuit in Nunavut and Nunavik established a voluntary sharing agreement in 2011, but the Nunavik Marine Regional Wildlife Board now plans to put a permanent management system into place that involves Inuit, Cree, and governments.
“Nunavut wildlife representatives are very happy to be a part of this process. We have developed and maintained management practices that work and respect Inuit harvesting rights, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with other regions, to ensure the continued conservation of polar bears” said Eetoolook.