Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut February 05, 2018 - 11:00 am

Northern fishing groups want help getting fair share of quotas

“Access ought to be to the exclusive benefit of northern and Indigenous groups"

SARAH ROGERS
The Arctic Fishery Alliance’s Kiviuq I vessel pictured here in Nunavut. A coalition of Nunavut fisheries is calling for the creation of a federal fund to help the territory “catch-up” to its fair share of the industry’s allocations. (FILE PHOTO)
The Arctic Fishery Alliance’s Kiviuq I vessel pictured here in Nunavut. A coalition of Nunavut fisheries is calling for the creation of a federal fund to help the territory “catch-up” to its fair share of the industry’s allocations. (FILE PHOTO)

OTTAWA—A coalition of Nunavut fishing companies has called for the creation of a federal fund to help the territory “catch up” and acquire a fair share of offshore shrimp and turbot quotas.

Brian Burke, the president of the Nunavut Offshore Allocation Holders Association, said the territory’s fishing industry needs access to a more equitable share of its offshore resources.

Even with a slight increase made to Nunavut’s turbot allocations last year, the territory holds 73 per cent of all turbot quotas and 38 per cent of shrimp—about 50 per cent of the overall allocation.

“We don’t consider that to be a fair and equitable allocation, compared to what you see in the South,” Burke told a panel discussion on Indigenous fisheries Feb. 1, held at the Northern Lights business and cultural showcase in Ottawa.

“We’ve been excluded for many years from grants that have been available to Indigenous groups in the south.”

Funding destined for Nunavut’s fishery would allow the industry to “catch up” to those who have had access for many years, Burke said.

It would also allow local fisheries to purchase northern shrimp and Greenland halibut quotas from southern enterprises, he said, and to trade with those businesses for southern access and to purchase other businesses and vessels.

The federal Northern Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative is set to launch soon, designed to help Indigenous groups develop commercial businesses and capacity.

The program will distribute $1.9 million this year and ramp up its annual budget to $7 million by 2019—money announced in last year’s federal budget.

In theory, the federal program could serve as the fund Nunavut fisheries are calling for, but Burke said it’s only part of the larger picture.

Having full access to adjacent fisheries would translate into $100 million more in revenue for license holders in Nunavut, he said.

In Nunavik, Makivik Corp. has been involved in the fishery since the late 1970s, most recently through joint ventures with Newfound Resources Ltd. and Unaaq Fisheries, which harvest shrimp in Hudson Strait and Davis Strait.

Makivik’s annual net revenues from the fisheries grew from $829,111 in 2011 to $7.6 million in 2016.

But with declining shrimp stocks in parts of the north, a potential reduction in quotas could threaten Nunavik’s fishery, said Makivik’s Peter Rose.

“The decline of the shrimp fishery would have an immediate impact on Nunavik,” Rose told the panel discussion.

Rose echoed Burke’s calls for changes to Ottawa’s policies, and said any discussion on allocations should consider land claims in the North and the region’s historical dependence on the fishery.

The Northern Coalition Corp.’s Alastair O’Reilly added to that by noting that, in the case of Inuit-owned fisheries, the profits are reinvested back into communities.

“That warrants attention when we think of who should have access to allocations in the North,” he said Feb. 1.

“Access ought to be to the exclusive benefit of northern and Indigenous groups.”

Stakeholders can weigh in on the federal government’s Northern Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative until spring 2018 at http://www.indigenousfisheries.ca.

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(6) Comments:

#1. Posted by Oh the days on February 05, 2018

Wouldn’t it be great to have an Inuk Minister of Fisheries? Or at least a Liberal MP from Nunavut? Now that would be the perfect solution for this.

#2. Posted by Uvanga on February 05, 2018

Interesting that all the people advocating for our fishing industry are all from Newfoundland. No Inuit on that panel which I found very strange. The benefits of our fishing industry maybe going to Newfoundland, is that why they are fighting for Nunavut qoata increase. I don’t think Brian Burke even lives is Nunavut and he is a president of this Nunavut allocation association. How does this happen?

#3. Posted by Ear's and Eye's on February 05, 2018

to #1. Hunter Tootoo screwed up as our Inuik Minister of Fisheries for us ,

#2. Brian works for AFA as I was told and all the allocation holders are a small group of people who works with any Inuit Company’s Quota Holders , I maybe wrong he maybe a consultant under NL boat sellers not sure ,

I would like to hear the Dollar numbers how much the ton cost of Turbot and Shrimp are todate witch we don’t get reports back from the HTO’s anymore , we all heard of the news on BFC COO or the CEO and the Board of Directors take full course of the Businesses for there own advantages , I wonder if AFA does there full reports to there membership anyone who can reply to me Please comment and you will get help one way or the other , hope NWMB will be open to get the whole Quota’s Turbot and Shrimp soon again .

Eye’s and Ear’s

#4. Posted by Build an Industry on February 06, 2018

Don’t all of the shrimp and a lot of the fish (except for that processed in Pang) caught through Nunavut’s allocation get shipped down to Newfoundland to be processed?  And then some of it gets shipped back up here to be sold?

There should be more capacity in Nunavut to process shrimp and fish caught in Nunavut.

#5. Posted by Eye's and ear's on February 06, 2018

#4. Fast Bux this is all is for the People who gets Quota’s , and who works hard for working for them ,

#4. you don’t get to see anything process and shopped back north NONE ZERO , you think they would but nope , Look at the big Picture about Pang Fisheries they have a filleting machine and the Board had ended up cutting some employment , BFC is a part owner of Pang Fisheries and the report was not even giving to the Members how much Profits from last year the plant had made wonder how much this was ,

Hulk Eye to open up and ask questions soon again .

Eye’s and Ear’s

#6. Posted by Johnson on February 08, 2018

The quota increase should be for Nunavut, off our waters, also build up the capacity in Nunavut with deep water ports and processing plants.

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