OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 20, 2016) - The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, today announced the start of a 30-day public consultation period for the proposed Anguniaqvia niqiqyam Marine Protected Area Regulations. The Regulations will be pre-published in Canada Gazette Part I on June 25, launching the consultation period that will extend until July 25, 2016. The announcement was made on World Oceans Day in the Arctic celebrated this year on June 20.
The proposed Anguniaqvia niqiqyam Marine Protected Area, located in the Beaufort Sea near the community of Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, is highly productive and provides important habitat for species such as Arctic char, cod, beluga whales, polar bears, seals and various birds. Further, the area is home to the only thick-billed murre bird colony in the western Canadian Arctic. The proposed Marine Protected Area would prevent activities that could have a negative impact on their habitats and ecosystems and would also help preserve the marine environment around the nearby Cape Parry Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
The work supporting the proposed Marine Protected Area has been a collaborative effort with the Inuvialuit, as well as partners from industry, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, and represents the best available scientific information and Indigenous traditional knowledge.
The Government of Canada will use comments provided by the public during the consultation period to formulate the final regulations that will govern the new Marine Protected Area.
- Anguniaqvia niqiqyam is named in honour of Nelson Green, a highly respected former Inuvialuit elder from Paulatuk, Northwest Territories.
- Collaboration with local communities for the proposed Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area has been facilitated through the Beaufort Sea Partnership and included participation from the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Fisheries Joint Management Committee, the Inuvialuit Game Council, the Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
- Once it is designated, this will be the first Oceans Act Marine Protected Area to have a conservation objective based on traditional and local knowledge.
"This is an important step towards the designation of a new Marine Protected Area and a great example of the Government of Canada's commitment to reach our domestic and international targets for protecting our marine and coastal areas for current and future generations. The proposed Anguniaqvia niqiqyam Marine Protected Area Regulations shows the incredible progress we can make by working collaboratively with our partners and by using traditional Indigenous knowledge to inform our decision making."
- The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"Collaborating to make sure we protect our ecosystems and marine species is more essential now than ever, given the impacts of climate change and the increased access to our marine areas with more open sea ice. This is an excellent way to celebrate Oceans Day in the Arctic by taking an important step to protect this critical habitat which is home to a rich array of fish, marine mammals and other species."
- Michael McLeod, M.P., Northwest Territories
"The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is committed to the integrity of our culture and to protecting the marine environment, wildlife and biological productivity within our Inuvialuit Nunatsiaq for use by our present and future generations. We appreciate the work that the department has done so far with respect to collaborating with Inuvialuit on this Marine Protected Area. We look forward to close consultation on these regulations to ensure our rights are maintained through these proposed regulations."
- Duane Smith, Chairman, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
"It's good to see that we (the Inuvialuit) can collaborate with partners, in this case Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to work toward protecting areas that have been identified by our people and that are important to us, the wildlife, environment and marine ecosystem."
- Patrick Gruben, Inuvialuit Game Council
"As Inuvialuit are people of the land, water and the skies, living with what the creator has provided us, we will persevere to protect and conserve all that sustains us"
- Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee
- Anguniaqvia niqiqyam Area of Interest
Follow us on Twitter! www.Twitter.com/DFO_MPO