Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

August 27, 2010 16:42 ET

Announcement of an Integrated Oceans Management Plan for the Beaufort Sea

TUKTOYAKTUK, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwire - Aug. 27, 2010) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced her support for the Integrated Oceans Management Plan for the Beaufort Sea. The Plan, which is the result of collaboration among many interests, is a major strategy for the management of ocean resources in Canada's Arctic. It is one of the concrete steps the Government of Canada is taking to manage and protect Canada's northern oceans.

"The Beaufort Sea ecosystem is currently healthy, and through this management plan we aim to preserve its health, while continuing to create economic opportunities and sustainable communities," said Minister Shea. "This plan is needed to ensure all development proceeds in a sustainable manner that takes into consideration the values, interests and rights of all those who live in the region."

"This announcement marks a major achievement in the productive relationship between Canada and the Inuvialuit," said Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Chair Nellie Cournoyea. "It ensures the marine resources of the Beaufort Sea and the traditional practices of the Inuvialuit are provided with an appropriate level of formal protection over time."

The Integrated Oceans Management Plan demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to sound management of Arctic marine and coastal resources. The plan provides tangible evidence of the willingness of all oceans-related sectors—traditional harvesters, Inuvialuit corporate interests, governments, industry, environmental groups— to work together in the decision making processes that will shape the future of the Beaufort Sea.

The plan is also the first of its kind to be announced in Canada.

Backgrounder

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE INTEGRATED OCEANS MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE BEAUFORT SEA

The Integrated Oceans Management Plan (IOMP) is the result of planning efforts undertaken by a partnership of Aboriginal, Territorial and Federal government departments, and northern coastal community residents, private interests, environmental non-governmental organizations, and academia.

Designed to be an effective guide to planning for development in the region, and one that reflects the values and goals of all those who use and live in the area, the Plan covers a wide area of 1.1 million square kilometres of the Beaufort Sea, and includes ocean, island, and coastal areas.

The Plan is not intended to create another layer of regulation; rather, it will provide an opportunity to integrate the goals of the partners. It will also specify the roles and responsibilities of those partners and streamline decision-making processes as they pertain to development in the Beaufort Sea.

The Plan is tangible evidence of the willingness of all those sectors —traditional harvesters, Inuvialuit corporate interests, governments, industry, environmental groups—to work together. All these parties have agreed to cooperate in the decision making processes that will shape the future of the region. It is also a concrete demonstration of Canada's commitment to sound management of Arctic marine and coastal resources.

The work to-date on the Plan demonstrates that Canada is leading the way internationally with successful integrated approaches to oceans management. It represents the proactive planning that is necessary to take advantage of development opportunities in a sustainable way.

The Plan uses both an ecosystem-based management and a sustainable development approach. Ecosystem-based management recognizes that human activities must be managed in consideration of the interrelationships between all living organisms, their habitats and the physical environment, based on the best available knowledge. Sustainable development ensures any development that meets the needs of the present will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) is the governance body for the Beaufort Sea Integrated Oceans Management Plan. It is co-chaired by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Inuvialuit Game Council, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The RCC is also comprised of federal departments (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada, Transport Canada, and Environment Canada), territorial governments of the Northwest Territories and Yukon, and the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, a co-management organization established under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. The RCC provides coordinated decision-making, oversight and direction for the ongoing evolution and development of the Plan.

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
    Nelson Kalil
    Media Relations
    613-990-7537
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay
    Director of Communications
    613-992-3474