OTTAWA, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - Oceans North Canada commends Prime Minister
Stephen Harper for his announcement today about the creation of the
Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area in the Beaufort Sea, the first
such designation in Canada's Arctic.
"This important marine conservation area will protect the summering
grounds of the world's largest beluga population from the increasing
pressures of industrial development in the Western Arctic," said Trevor
Taylor, policy director for Oceans North Canada. "The continued health
of these beluga whales is fundamental to the Inuvialuit who rely on a
vibrant ecosystem for their cultural and economic subsistence."
The prime minister made the announcement in Tuktoyaktuk, NWT during his
summer tour of the Arctic. Planning for the marine protected area was
done by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Inuvialuit Game
Council, the Fisheries Joint Management Committee and the Department of
Fisheries and Oceans.
"We congratulate the Inuvialuit organizations who worked with the
federal government over the last decade to develop this marine protected
area," said Louis Porta, who represented Oceans North Canada at the
Tuktoyaktuk event. "This is the second major conservation initiative for
the Beaufort Sea that the federal government has announced in the last
week and will help ensure a healthier marine environment."
The government previously announced the Beaufort Sea Regional
Environmental Assessment that will fund environmental and socio-economic
research to inform potential offshore oil and gas activities.
"Today's announcement is timely given the growing pressures to develop
hydrocarbon in the Beaufort," Taylor said. "These initiatives, if
implemented correctly, will help the Inuvialuit and the government
collect baseline data about this sensitive region before large-scale oil
and gas development takes place."
In a related development, the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and
Oceans recently recommended that Ottawa work with Inuvialuit communities
on a moratorium on new commercial fisheries in the Beaufort Sea. Such a
plan would prevent large-scale commercial fishing until scientists and
Inuvialuit communities ensure it can be done sustainably.
Oceans North Canada supports the creation of a precautionary Beaufort
fisheries plan in partnership with Inuvialuit leaders that could set an
example for other Arctic countries. In the face of rapidly melting ice
and increased commercial demand, such a plan could also serve as a model
for international fisheries cooperation in the High Arctic.
Oceans North Canada promotes science-and-community-based conservation
of Canada's northern seas and the resulting wellbeing of indigenous
For more information visit our website: www.oceansnorth.ca
SOURCE OCEANS NORTH
For further information: For further information:
Trevor Taylor, email@example.com (613) 290-4498