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Development of an integrated fisheries co-management framework for new and emerging commercial fisheries in the Canadian Beaufort Sea

Ayles, Burton; Porta, Louie; Clarke, Red McV



Marine Policy



The Canadian Beaufort Sea is one of the last places on Earth that has not experienced large-scale commercial fisheries. The aboriginal people of the western Canadian Arctic, the Inuvialuit, have become increasingly concerned about the potential effects of large-scale commercial operations on key subsistence species of fish and marine mammals and the marine ecosystem upon which they depend. A 1984 comprehensive land settlement agreement (treaty) between Canada and the Inuvialuit established a co-management regime for limited aspects of fish and marine mammal resource management, and gave the Inuvialuit rights to subsistence fisheries and existing commercial fisheries but no preference for new commercial fisheries. The Fisheries Joint Management Committee (the fisheries co-management body), the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and the Inuvialuit Game Council have developed an integrated fisheries management framework agreement for the review and assessment of any proposed commercial fisheries within the Canadian Beaufort Sea. The agreement provides clarity and transparency for decision making and strengthens the protection of fish stocks. The development of the framework depended upon a history of cooperation between the parties and a bridging initiative by the Fisheries Joint Management Committee and an NGO that brought together the Inuvialuit and the government.

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