North Hudson Bay narwhal tags significantly increased for 2015

Hunters of north Hudson Bay narwhal will be able to access 229 tags this year — as compared to 147 last season — because many of those 2014 tags went unused.

Hunters will be able to access 229 tags, up from 147 last season

The number of tags for north Hudson Bay narwhal has increase to 229 for the 2015 season.

It could be a busier summer than usual for some Nunavut hunters, as there will be 55 per cent more tags available for north Hudson Bay narwhal than last year.

This year, there will be 229 tags available — a significant increase from the 147 allowable harvests in 2014.

The increase, according to Nunavut Tunngavik, is because 82 tags were left unused last year. The territory's integrated fisheries management plan includes a carry-over policy for tags, meaning that the 82 unused tags were added to the 2015 amount.

"This is good," says James Eetoolook, vice president at Nunavut Tunngavik, "and hopefully that amount will be harvested. You know, the seasons are different from each season, and if there's more ice... and other factors."

Last year's unused tags will be shared among several Qikiqtani and Kivalliq communities in Nunavut, including Kimmirut, Hall Beach, and Naujaat.

The north Hudson Bay narwhal are subject to a management plan, which is administered by several local hunters and trappers organizations, Nunavut Tunngavik, and the territory's Wildlife Management Board.