NEWS: Nunavut April 25, 2012 - 2:54 pm

Sustainable management, no moratorium, for Arctic fisheries: NTI

“Commercial fishing in the Arctic, including in international waters, should be based on sustainability"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc’s vice-president James Eetoolook said in an April 25 news release that he doesn’t agree with a call for a moratorium on commercial fishing in international Arctic waters.

The call for the moratorium was issued by the PEW Environment Group this week during the International Polar Year conference in Montreal.

The group called for a moratorium on commercial fishing in international waters until more research can be completed on waters that were once covered by ice year-round.

The scientists suggest Arctic countries work together to protect the central Arctic Ocean by:

• developing an international fisheries management accord;

• starting with a catch level of zero until sufficient research can assess the impacts of fisheries on the central Arctic ecosystem; and,

• setting up a management, monitoring, and enforcement system before commercial fishing begins.

NTI said in its news release that it “works and will continue to work with government to develop responsible plans and strategies for the sustainable harvest of fish and wildlife in the Arctic.”

“Commercial fishing in the Arctic, including in international waters, should be based on sustainability, a sound co-management system partnering with Aboriginal Peoples, and preferential consideration to Aboriginal Peoples who are adjacent to these waters and permanent inhabitants in the Arctic,” Eetoolook said.