Feds work with Nunavut to govern growing fishery
Nunavut fishery regulations to better align with Nunavut Agreement
Rules for Nunavut’s fishing industry are being updated to make sure the Nunavut Agreement is reflected in both territorial fisheries regulations and Canada’s Fisheries Act.
These new regulations are being developed for Nunavut by the federal government, the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.
Plans for the new regulations were announced on Nunavut Day, July 9, along with a joint statement that lists how the regulations will be developed and what they aim to do.
“The Nunavut Agreement created a co-management system with defined and complementary roles for the minister of fisheries and oceans, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, regional wildlife organizations, and hunters and trappers organizations—while recognizing Inuit harvesting rights, including fishing rights,” that joint statement reads.
Draft regulations should be published in the Canada Gazette by next year.
To support the Nunavut Agreement, the joint statement issued by Fisheries and Oceans, the GN, NTI and the wildlife management board says the regulations will:
• recognize the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board as the main manager and regulator of access to wildlife in the Nunavut Settlement Area
• emphasize conservation and protection of aquatic species and their ecosystems in Nunavut
• make sure that “fisheries are managed to support the economic well-being of Inuit and the Nunavut economy”
• work with Makivik Corporation and the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board on regulations for fishing areas also used by Quebec Inuit
• “respect the rights of Inuit, and the roles of hunters and trappers organizations and regional wildlife organizations”
“The development of the Nunavut fishery regulations is crucial to the diversification of our Nunavut economy,” said NTI President Aluki Kotierk.
“I am pleased our partners recognize Inuit rights and interests in fisheries management. This is a significant endeavour in the continued development of Nunavut and the advancement of our social, cultural and economic well-being.”
Most priorities set out in the joint statement start with the phrase “co-develop policies”—indicating that Nunavut and the Department of Fisheries will keep each other in the loop while they make plans for governing the territory’s growing marine industry.
The statement includes a commitment to consult with Inuit, Nunavummiut, and any Indigenous groups that harvest inside the [Nunavut Settlement Area] on proposed policies and regulations that will govern fisheries.
Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said his department is eager to support a “robust, sustainable fishing industry in the territory.”
“The Government of Nunavut is committed to cooperation to ensure responsible implementation of the Nunavut Fishery regulations,” said Nunavut’s environment minister, Jeannie Ehaloak.