Hudson Strait closed after beluga quota “widely overtaken”


The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has closed the beluga hunt in the Hudson Strait. The closing is effective from Nov. 10 to Dec. 31. The DFO closed the hunt because the quota of 135 beluga had been reached.

According to information from the DFO, sent this week to Nunavik mayors, Makivik Corporation, the Kativik Regional Government and the Anguvigaq Hunters and Trappers Association, 149 belugas were hunted in the Hudson Strait, that is, 14 more than the agreed number.

Every community in Nunavik was allowed to hunt 15 belugas in the Hudson Strait, but Salluit recorded 23, Ivujivik, 37 and Akulivik, 28.

“According to preliminary data, the quota of 135 has now been widely overtaken,” wrote Michel Tremblay, the regional director of the DFO’s aboriginal fisheries division.

Another 21 belugas were hunted in areas lying outside the zones agreed on in the 2005 Beluga Management Plan — five in Ungava Bay, closed to all hunting; one from the Eastern Hudson Bay, also closed to all hunting; three more than the quota for Long Island and James Bay, and 12 from the Belcher and King George Islands.

“We would like to remind you and the hunters of Nunavik that any beluga harvested during closure is not permitted and may be subject to legal procedure,” Tremblay said in his letter on Nov. 15.

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