IQALUIT, NUNAVUT--(Marketwire - July 21, 2011) - The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement:
Representatives of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the Government of Nunavut, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and Fisheries and Oceans Canada met last week to discuss the co-management of narwhal.
The meetings, held over three days, were arranged after the signing of an Alternative Resolution Agreement between Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and Fisheries and Oceans Canada on June 17, 2011. The agreement was instituted to ensure increased co-operation and discussion on the future of this important resource.
The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, reflected on the positive progress that this meeting represents.
"As this is the first time that all four agencies have come together as partners to exchange perspectives on our shared roles and responsibilities in managing resources, such as narwhal, I am very pleased to note that the discussion was both positive and fruitful," said Minister Ashfield.
"The Government of Canada is pleased with the progress shown by these four agencies in working together to support the North," added the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. "These successful meetings mark another important step forward in the co-management of Arctic resources."
The meeting has resulted in a common work plan for developing an integrated management plan for the sustainable harvest of narwhal.
The narwhal inhabits ice-covered Arctic seas and belongs to the same family of cetaceans that includes sperm whales, pilot whales, dolphins and porpoises. It is also an important cultural species and food source for Arctic communities.