New narwhal management plan approved in Canada’s eastern Arctic

James Eetoolook, acting president of NTI, says the new narwhal management plan's use of a system based on the summering stock will be a learning curve for Inuit. (CBC)Number of tags for Grise Fiord hunters to rise to 50 from 20

A new narwhal management plan for Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut has the approval of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.

The plan, which was developed by DFO in consultation with NTI, regional wildlife organizations and hunters and trappers organizations, sets a total allowable harvest for the Baffin Bay region.

Nunavut Tunngavik, the Inuit land claims organization, said the management plan meets Inuit needs and respects their harvesting rights.

“This is the first time to use a management plan system based on the summering stock,” said Nunavut Tunngavik acting president James Eetoolook.

“It will be a learning curve for Inuit who hunt narwhal but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem because Inuit, we’ve been using a quota system for years and years.”

One of the changes in the plan is an increase in tags for hunters in Grise Fiord, Nunavut’s most northern community, to 50 from 20.

According to Nunavut Tunngavik, Inuit Quajimajatuqangit was used to make this decision because the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has little to no data for the Jones Sound area.

“I think that’s very good for our community,” said Jeffrey Qaunaq, a hunter in Grise Fiord.

“I know that Grise Fiordmiut have fought for this to increase the narwhal tag. It’s going to really benefit the community mostly for food to distribute the muktuk to family and friends.”

The regional wildlife organizations and hunter and trappers organizations will attend a workshop in Iqaluit Feb 12-14 to allocate the number of tags the other HTOs will get.

A total allowable harvest for North Hudson Bay still has to be set.

Related Link:

DFO proposes new narwhal management plan, CBC News

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