Fishing quotas increased

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MV Sivulliq fishing turbot off the coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut. © Henning Flusund

Nunavut’s fishing industry is expecting a multimillion dollar boost in revenue over the next two years, thanks to an increase of turbot quotas.

In March, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans increased the total allowable catch for 2017 and 2018 by 575 tonnes in each of the two fishing areas adjacent to Baffin Island.

The increase to turbot quotas off Baffin Island will be allocated to Inuit fishers in Nunavut and Nunavik. The limits on turbot in zone 0A, northeast of Baffin Island, was increased to 8,575 tonnes, with Nunavut fishermen receiving all the increase. The limit in zone 0B, off Baffin Island’s southeast coast, was increased to 7,575 tonnes. Nunavut will receive 90 per cent of that increase, with Inuit fishers in Nunavik receiving the other 10 per cent. The increase in quotas will also mean more jobs throughout the year.

The Baffin Fisheries Coalition (BFC) is mandated to use some of its offshore fishing profits to help develop inshore fisheries. The BFC is working with the local hunters and trappers’ organization to develop new cold storage — a community freezer — and possibly a fish processing area that would meet national standards. The goal is to develop a fishery that offers cash to seasonal harvesters.