NWMB Allocation Policy For Commercial Marine Fisheries
The NWMB Allocation Policy for Commercial Marine Fisheries (Allocation Policy) sets out an open and transparent process with clear principles and guidelines for fairly determining individual commercial fisheries allocations for Nunavut-based harvesters in the waters adjacent to Nunavut. The Allocation Policy ties continued access and allocations to performance goals and targets. Since 2007 it has established Nunavut in a leading edge position in terms of Canadian fisheries policy. The main objective of the Allocation Policy is:
“To facilitate a co-operative, professional and diversified approach to ecosystem-based fisheries development, maintaining compliance with the principles of conservation, relying upon re-investment in the fishery by Nunavut fishers, and ensuring the wide distribution of tangible benefits to Nunavummiut.”
The Allocation Policy does not apply to non-commercial harvests or to the commercial harvest of freshwater or anadromous fish, such as arctic char.
New Policy Revisions
A new, revised version of the Allocation Policy was approved by the NWMB in June 2012. Revisions helped to ensure that the policy is up to date with regard to current issues and concerns facing stakeholders, including government bodies and industry partners. The revisions took place between 2010 and 2012, and included extensive input and consultations with stakeholders. Key changes to the 2012 version of the Allocation Policy include:
- Substantial effort to reduce redundancies throughout the document and update content to better reflect the current context of Nunavut’s commercial marine fisheries;
- Development of essential confidentiality safeguards and commitments with respect to the Fisheries Advisory Committee (FAC);
- Revisions to the “Mandatory Requirements for Responsible Stewardship.”
- Proposed annual Verification Reports - prepared by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Transport Canada;
- A revised “Evaluation Form for the Allocation Guidelines.” This scoring system for evaluating applications was updated, and changes were made to bring greater balance amongst scoring elements, and reduce subjectivity and duplication;
- Removal of the former section on offshore “Small Boat Fisheries Development,” pending appropriate infrastructure development within Nunavut;
- A section on the “Transfer of Nunavut Allocations” was added;
- A section was added on “New Applications for Commercial Fisheries Allocations” which highlights the best opportunities for new applicants to receive allocations;
- A new “Multi-Year Allocations” section has been added, which sets out five-year allocation terms, and also addresses the challenges of allocation increases and decreases during a five-year term;
- Another new section – “Allocation Reconciliation” – which outlines a process to reconcile allocation overruns; and
- Updates to the “Allocation Application” procedure and the development and delivery of “Annual Reports” and “Verification Reports,” including accompanying flow charts.
Applying for Nunavut Commercial Fisheries Allocations
(Amended June 25th 2012)
Pursuant to the NWMB Allocation Policy for Commercial Marine Fisheries (Allocation Policy), the NWMB issued a “Call for Applications” on June 15th 2012 to all Nunavut fishers interested in applying for annual commercial Greenland halibut (turbot) allocations and/or shrimp fishing allocations outside the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA) for a five-year term (2013 – 2017 fishing seasons).
In order to request an allocation in a fishery, an applicant must complete an “Application Form for Commercial Marine Fisheries Allocation” (Application Form), and submit a detailed “Governance, Business, Benefits and Stewardship Plan” (Plan) to the NWMB. The Application Form, Plan template and details regarding the application process are contained in the Allocation Policy. To be considered for annual allocations for Nunavut turbot allocations and/or shrimp allocations outside the NSA for the next five-year term (2013 – 2017 fishing seasons), the Form and the Plan must be delivered in both electronic and hard copy (in person, by courier or by mail) to the NWMB’s Iqaluit office, by the close of business on July 27th 2012. Applications received after that date will not be considered.
Given pending decisions on shrimp management changes proposed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada , the NWMB is suspending decisions on shrimp allocations inside the NSA until a decision on the proposed shrimp management changes in Shrimp Fishing Areas 2, 3 and 4 is finalized. Therefore applicants should not apply for specific shrimp allocations inside the NSA when submitting their application by July 27th. However, the NWMB would appreciate applicants indicating a general expression of interest.
The NWMB wishes to ensure that Nunavut’s marine resources are developed and managed in a professional, transparent and accountable manner for the equitable benefit of all Nunavummiut. Pursuant to the cumulative point system set out in its Allocation Policy for Commercial Marine Fisheries, the NWMB will carefully rank all applications received, and will make its resulting recommendations and decisions accordingly.
For further information regarding the NWMB’s newly revised Allocation Policy for Commercial Marine Fisheries, or to obtain a copy of the Allocation Policy and/or the Application Form, please click on the link at the top of the page, or contact the NWMB at the following coordinates:
NUNAVUT WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT BOARD
3rd Floor, 1106 Ikaluktuutiak Drive
P.O. Box 1379, Iqaluit, NU, X0A 0H0
 Shrimp allocations outside the NSA are for Pandalus borealis in SFA 1 Commercial and SFA 2 Experimental East of 63 degrees West.
 Current shrimp allocations inside the NSA (all Pandalus montagui) are in SFA 2 Exploratory (2000t), SFA 3 Exploratory (500t), and SFA 2 or 3 Exploratory (500 t).
The Role of the NWMB in Nunavut’s Commercial Marine Fisheries
Inside the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA)
“Recognizing that Government retains ultimate responsibility for wildlife management, the NWMB shall be the main instrument of wildlife management in the Nunavut Settlement Area and the main regulator of access to wildlife and have the primary responsibility in relation thereto in the manner described in the Agreement”
With respect to commercial marine fisheries, the NWMB has extensive decision-making jurisdiction in the marine waters of the NSA – those waters directly adjacent to Nunavut and extending to the 12-mile limit of Canada’s Territorial Sea boundary (NLCA, Article 3). That decision-making jurisdiction is shared with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, is subject to the terms and conditions of the NLCA, and includes the authority to:
- Establish, modify or remove levels of total allowable harvest (TAH) or harvesting (NLCA S 5.6.16);
- Determine the allocation of the commercial portion of any TAH (NLCA S 5.6.31); and
- Establish, modify or remove non-quota limitations – such as limitations on gear type and season of harvest (NLCA S 5.6.48).
Outside the Nunavut Settlement Area
With respect to commercial marine fisheries, the NWMB exercises an extensive advisory jurisdiction in Zones I and II. To the east of the NSA is Zone I – those adjacent marine areas of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait seaward of the Territorial Sea boundary, subject to Canada’s jurisdiction and not part of another land claim settlement area. To the south is Zone II – those waters of James Bay, Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait not part of the NSA or another land claim settlement area (NLCA S 1.1.1). That advisory jurisdiction is subject to the terms and conditions of the NLCA and includes the authority to:
- Provide relevant information to Government that would assist in wildlife management beyond the marine areas of the NSA (NLCA S 15.3.4);
- Provide requested advice with respect to any wildlife management decisions by Government which would affect the substance and value of Inuit harvesting rights and opportunities within the marine areas of the NSA (NLCA S 15.3.4);
- Provide advice and recommendations to Government with respect to Government’s responsibilities (i) to recognize the importance of the principles of adjacency and economic dependence of communities in the NSA on marine resources, and (ii) to give special consideration to those factors when allocating commercial fishing licences within Zones I and II (NLCA S 15.3.7); and
- Advise and make recommendations regarding the marine areas of the NSA, which Government must consider in making decisions that affect those marine areas (NLCA S 15.4.1).
Following consultations with the NWMB and others, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans determines the territory’s regional allocations of offshore fisheries resources. The NWMB then recommends individual commercial allocations to Nunavut’s fishers. This arrangement is in keeping with the Department’s 2004 Policy Framework for the Management of Fisheries on Canada’s Atlantic Coast - that decisions which relate to the management of specific fisheries will normally be made as close to those fisheries as possible.
Principles Guiding the NWMB’s Allocation Policy for Nunavut’s Commercial Marine Fisheries
Complementing the governing principles of NLCA Article 5 (NLCA S 5.1.2 and 5.1.5) and the instructions set out in the NLCA for commercial allocations within the NSA (NLCA S 5.6.31, 5.6.38 to 5.6.40, and 5.6.45 to 5.6.47) are the following principles, which guide the NWMB in its allocation of commercial marine fisheries resources:
- The protection of healthy marine populations and habitat through sustainable development, and responsible stewardship is essential to sustain the economic, social and cultural harvesting needs of Nunavummiut, for both present and future generations (NLCA S 5.1.5(c));
- The fishery is a valuable and vital common property resource to be managed in an open, transparent and accountable manner for the equitable benefit of all Nunavummiut;
- There is a need for the fishery to be diversified, striking a healthy balance between inshore and offshore operations, and between community entitlements and entrepreneurial initiative;
- In order to achieve a prosperous Nunavut-controlled fishery, there is a need for people to work together in harmony;
- In allocating commercial marine fisheries resources, preference needs to be given to Nunavummiut and to operations providing direct benefits to Nunavut’s economy (NLCA S 5.6.45);
- There is a need to give special consideration to adjacency in the allocation of commercial marine fisheries resources, particularly within the NSA (NLCA S 15.3.7);
- In allocating commercial marine fisheries resources, there is a need to give special consideration to the economic dependence of communities on those resources (NLCA S 15.3.7);
- A prosperous Nunavut-controlled fishery requires substantial involvement of viable commercial ventures sponsored or owned by Regional Wildlife Organizations (RWOs) and Hunters and Trappers Organizations (HTOs) (NLCA S 5.1.3(a)(iii) and 5.6.39);
- In allocating commercial marine fisheries resources, there is a need to give special consideration to economically viable fishing enterprises and to fishers that have a successful history in a particular fishery; and
- A prosperous Nunavut fishery that contributes to the creation of wealth, employment, training and educational opportunities for Nunavummiut requires substantial re-investment of revenues received from one of Nunavut’s most valuable common property resources.