Talks continue on narwhal tusk export ban
Nunavut Tunngavik hopeful ban may be lifted from some communities
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans met with Nunavut Tunngavik in Iqaluit this week to continue negotiations on the ban in the trade of narwhal tusks from some Nunavut communities.
Last December, DFO imposed an international trade ban on tusks from 17 communities without consulting Inuit. Only hunters in Kugaaruk, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven, Igloolik and Pond Inlet are still permitted to export tusks internationally.
NTI sued, arguing that the trade restrictions violate Inuit harvesting rights, but dropped the lawsuit when DFO agreed to negotiate earlier this year.
While nothing is finalized, NTI vice-president James Eetoolook said he is happy with the progress being made.
"Right now we are hopeful that the ban may be lifted in some communities, but perhaps not in all communities," he said in Inuktitut.
The federal government will work on a management plan with NTI, in the hopes of avoiding a global ban on the trade of narwhal tusks. It's expected to be released within two months.
There is a concern that some of the 170-plus countries that have signed on to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) could demand a worldwide trade ban on narwhal at the next CITES meeting in Thailand in 2013.
Consultations with Hunters and Trappers Organizations in affected communities are expected to resume in February.