INUVIK, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwired - Oct. 17, 2014) -
The Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and Minister for the Arctic Council, today announced that a partnership of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Inuvialuit Game Council and the Fisheries Joint Management Committee signed the Beaufort Sea Integrated Fisheries Management Framework. This agreement between the Inuvialuit and Canada is an important accord that represents a cooperative management approach to marine mammals and fish that exist in the Inuvialuit Settlement Area of the Western Arctic.
The Framework is a valuable tool to address the existing and potential threats to the well-being and sustainability of key marine resources in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and will help protect traditional Inuvialuit harvests of fish and marine mammals by ensuring the protection and maintenance of the critical Arctic food webs on which they depend.
The accord establishes that priority for any new fisheries will be given to small scale Inuvialuit-based operations. Any consideration of larger scale commercial fisheries will depend upon scientific knowledge and understanding of the biological productivity of the Beaufort Sea and of the food chain links to species of importance to the Inuvialuit: Dolly Varden char; Arctic char; anadromous whitefish species; seals; and, whales. Potential commercial fisheries will only be considered in the light of scientifically supportable estimates of surplus and sustainable stocks.
This agreement will also ensure that current Fisheries and Oceans Canada policies and guidelines will be adhered to, while also ensuring that Inuvialuit rights and responsibilities for the fisheries resources of the Beaufort Sea are fully recognized in any consideration of potential new fisheries.
"This agreement is a great example of cooperation between stakeholders, which will allow both Canada and the Inuvialuit to recognize their mutual responsibilities for the protection of the Beaufort Sea ecosystem. It will also ensure that Inuvialuit small scale fishermen will be the first to benefit from the development of any future commercial fisheries in the region."
The Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and Minister for the Arctic Council, on behalf of the Honorable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
"The protection of the Beaufort Sea ecosystem and the identification of emerging economic opportunities are critical to the ongoing wellbeing of Inuvialuit and their communities. This agreement marks the conclusion of a cooperative management planning process between Inuvialuit and government that, in its implementation over time, will contribute to the advancement of both of these requirements."
Nellie Cournyea, CEO Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
"The communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region had concerns about maintaining the sustainability of the fish that they rely on as part of their subsistence lifestyle. This framework takes steps to ensure that the Beaufort Sea ecosystem stays healthy and can continue to provide for the needs of the Inuvialuit people."
Frank Pokiak, Chair, Inuvilauit Game Council
"On behalf of the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, we are pleased to see the completion of the Beaufort Sea Integrated Fisheries Management Framework and the address of the concern of the six Inuvialuit Settlement Region communities in regard to potential development of large scale commercial fisheries in the Beaufort Sea. With the four agencies that are party to the Framework and the supporting Memorandum of Understanding, we are confident that we are positioned to protect and sustain the fish and marine mammals of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. This accord is an excellent example of cooperative management between Canada and the Inuvialuit in the Western Arctic. "
Vic Gillman, Chair, Fisheries Joint Management Committee