Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

December 20, 2011 17:40 ET

Government of Canada Collaboration With Northern Communities Paves the Way for the Expansion of International Trade in Certain Narwhal Products

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2011) - The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency issued the following statement today, upon news that international trade of narwhal products from four Nunavut communities could resume effective immediately.

"Our Government is pleased to note that Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as the authority under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), has issued Non-Detriment Findings for the narwhal summering stocks of Somerset Island, Admiralty Inlet, Eclipse Sound, and East Baffin Island. Because of the Non-Detriment Findings, northerners will be able to trade narwhal products from the 2011 harvest in these four areas internationally.

"Retroactive Non-Detriment Findings were also issued for Admiralty Inlet and East Baffin Bay for 2010. Products from those harvests will also be permitted to be traded internationally under CITES.

"The findings are based on a careful peer review process that included close collaboration and input from our co-management partners, such as Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Government of Nunavut, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, hunters and trappers organizations and northern communities.

"Our Government recognizes the social and economic significance of the traditional narwhal harvest for Nunavut communities. This latest development is welcome news for many communities in the North, and we will continue to work with our co-management partners to establish, by 2013, a management plan that allows a sustainable harvest to continue while meeting our ongoing international obligations.

"With Nunavut's leaders and their communities, we share a common goal to build an enduring, collaborative relationship that reflects our objective of a sustainable narwhal population that benefits northerners today and in the future."

Contact Information

  • Frank Stanek
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    613-990-7537

    Barbara Mottram
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    613-992-3474