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Beluga co-management; perspectives from Kuujjuarapik and Umiujaq, Nunavik

Gislason, Robin





The Inuit of Nunavik have always harvested the beluga whale for subsistence purposes. This harvest is socially, culturally, and economically important to the Inuit of Nunavik. In the 1800s the Hudson Bay Company ran a commercial whaling post at the mouth of the Great Whale River. It was during this time that the eastern Hudson Bay beluga summer stock first began to decrease. In the 1980s The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) first began to consider the subsistence harvest by the Inuit too high for the population to recover. They implemented a management strategy that consisted of harvest quotas and seasonal and regional closures. This strategy was implemented with very little Inuit consultation, and therefore is not agreeable to the Inuit of Nunavik. In December 2006 the Inuit and Federal Government signed the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement, which covers offshore areas not dealt with in the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. This agreement created the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Management Board, a co-management board that allows for management decision-making by both the Federal Government and the Inuit. The purpose of this research is to identify Inuit perspectives on co-management for the eastern Hudson Bay beluga summer stock. Through this research 12 themes of co-management importance have been identified by Inuit community members in Kuujjuarapik and Umijuaq, Nunavik.

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