Nunavummiut acquire skills to keep track of fish populations

05/13/2014

Eighteen Nunavummiut now have the skills to keep track of fish populations in their communities. It’s part of the Nunavut Community Aquatic Monitoring Program, or NCAMP. As the CBC’s Emily Ridlington reports, the territorial program could also create new economic opportunities for residents.

“We had a lot of positive feedback in Igloolik, in Coral Harbour. A lot of the participants were really eager to learn and really helpful.”

Alex Flaherty is the coordinator of NCAMP. He says recently the program was in Igloolik and Coral Harbour. Both hamlets are keen in developing commercial fisheries. In each community, participants took part in classroom sessions and went out in the field. Arctic char sampling was done at Atigituk (sp), a lake west of Igloolik, and at Koaluk (sp), a river north of Coral Harbour on Southampton Island.

Fish caught are measured, information is gathered, and it is recorded. Both communities have exploratory licences for these bodies of water from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Once a licence is granted, the fish population has to be monitored for five years. Sara Arnold (sp) is a fisheries sector specialist for the Kivalliq region with the Department of Environment.

“We have gone in and helped the community to collect the first year, as well as trained the community members. And then they will continue collecting that information for the next four years.”

And with that in mind, NCAMP is going to continue their efforts to help communities develop economic opportunities while being active participants in fisheries conservation.

Emily Ridlington, CBC News, Iqaluit