Inuit want Foxe Basin polar bear quota increased
The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board is holding hearings on the management of polar bears in Foxe Basin.
Nunavut Tunngavik and all three chairs of the regional wildlife boards made presentations yesterday. They all told the board there are more bears than ever before.
James Eetoolook with NTI says the latest estimate by the Nunavut Government also shows there are more bears in the area.
"We all know,if the quotas increased, it won't affect the number of polar bears," Eetoolook said.
James Qillaq, chair of the Qikiqtaaluk wildlife board, says he's upset about the three-year ban imposed on Hall Beach and Igloolik because they were alleged to have been harvesting too many female bears. Qillaq says they were defence kills.
He says if there's an increase in the quota for Foxe Basin, Hall Beach and Iglook want to be a part of it.
"All three regions are asking for a total quota of 44 bears," he said. "If that was approved, maybe Hall beach and Igloolik can harvest some of the total increase.
Attima Hadlari, chair of the Kitikmeot wildlife board says his region won't be affected by an increase in the quota, but he supports Inuit in the other two regions.
"Inuit hunters say there's more polar bears out there [and] we wanted to show them we come united on this issue," Hadlari said.
The hearings continue Wednesday in Iqaluit.