Nunavut company wants more of turbot quota
Arctic Fishery Alliance says request likely to be denied over Inuit ownership questions
The Arctic Fishery Alliance says its application to double its turbot quota will likely be denied because the council that makes quota recommendations in Nunavut believes the alliance is not controlled by Inuit.
The Arctic Fishery Alliance is made up of the Hunters and Trappers Organizations from Grise Fiord, Resolute, Arctic Bay and Qikiqtarjuaq. It wants its turbot quote upped to more than 2,900 tonnes from 1,500. Turbot is worth about $5,000 per tonne.
The company owns one freezer vessel, the Suvak, and employs a crew of 14 people, four of whom are Inuit.
They do have a non-Inuit general manager and fish with a mostly non-Inuit crew, but chairperson Lootie Toomasie said Inuit are in charge.
"Even though they are saying that, our faces are not painted to look like Inuit," he said. "This is who we are; we run this company."
Raising one company's turbot quota would mean lowering the quota of another. Quttiktuq MLA Ron Elliott, who represents residents of Grise Fiord, Resolute and Arctic Bay, said the Fisheries Advisory Committee may be in conflict when they make the recommendation on how much each company can fish for the next five years.
The committee is made up of members from the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik; both have indirect stakes in other fishing companies.
"I would be concerned about some of the GN employees who are on this board making a decision because we're aware the Nunavut Development Corporation is actually one of the biggest stakeholders in funding the Pang fishery," Elliott said.
Nunavut's Fishery Allocation Policy was first developed in 2007 and was intended to establish a fair, open and transparent way of dividing up the turbot quota.
The policy says members who are appointed to the Nunavut Fisheries Advisory Committee must be impartial and act in the public interest. They include industry experts and Inuit with knowledge of the fishery.
The Fishery Allocation Policy uses a numbered scoring system to decide quota recommendations.
The federal fisheries minister has the final say.