Nunavut residents getting trained in aquatic monitoring
GN hopes to deliver program throughout territory
Eighteen Nunavummiut now have the skills and the tools to track fish populations around their communities.
That’s thanks to the Nunavut Community Aquatic Monitoring Program, or N-CAMP, a fisheries research training and data collection program, Johnny Mike, Nunavut’s environment minister told the legislative assembly May 23.
Three communities are piloting the program, developed with the department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Igloolik hosted the first camp this part March, followed by a camp in Coral Harbour in April, and both were a success, Mike said.
“During the Igloolik camp, participants caught and sampled 200 fish, some of which were donated to a community feast, where seven graduates were presented with their training completion certificates,” Mike told the assembly May 23.
“The final pilot camp will be held in Kugluktuk in early September, and other communities are already inquiring about running an N-CAMP of their own.”
In Kugluktuk, residents have already expressed concerns about the quality of their water and fish; some of those concerns stem from the mining operations based at the headwaters of the local Coppermine River.
In that Kitikmeot community, people welcome the chance to monitor as a way to better protect their surrounding natural resources, N-CAMP leaders say.
In Coral Harbour, participants say N-CAMP will provide the support the community needs to understand the health of local fish stocks in order to maintain a fishery, and to develop a local tourism industry based on hunting and fishing.
“This unique training opportunity will increase capacity in the fisheries industry and ensure the success of community-based fisheries, whether for personal or commercial use,” Mike said.
“My department hopes to deliver the N-CAMP throughout the territory in support of other exploratory fisheries and community research.”
The pilot camps are being filmed in order to develop further educational resources for future programing, Mike added.
N-CAMP runs with the support of a number of territorial and federal organizations, such as Nunavut Arctic College, local Hunters and Trappers Organizations, the Nunavut Research Institute, DFO and Environment Canada.
Communities interested in taking part in N-CAMP can call (867) 975-7706.