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Reclaiming traditions: Community management of beluga hunting in Pangnirtung, Baffin Island, Northwest Territories

Sweeney, Sandra





The community of Pangnirtung perceives the beluga hunting controversy as being more than a question of conservation. Rather, the conflict is over the degree of restrictive measures required to protect the beluga population at this time and about who defines conservation needs. While there has been a consistent Department of Fisheries and Oceans attempt to institute a regulatory regime in the South East Baffin it has bogged down in Hunters and Trappers Association contention, hunter disagreements, and lack of scientific certainty. To identify the system within which Pangnirtung's beluga hunting community interacts the following central themes will be studied: (1) the predator/prey relationship expressed by Inuit hunters and beluga through the two seemingly non-communicating levels of empirical and non-empirical experience; (2) the role of scientist-regulators, beluga ecology research and the current restrictive beluga management regime; (3) the larger emerging conservation and aboriginal legal regimes within which the Pangnirtung beluga hunting conflict fits; and (4) co-management and local level Inuit control over beluga. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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