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Oceans Day and the TNMPA announcement in Tuktoyaktuk, NT, August 26, 2010

On August 26 PM Stephen Harper announced a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), collectively called the Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area. The Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area consists of three individual regions called Niaqunnaq, Okeevik, and Kittigaryuit, which are located at the mouth of the Mackenzie River in the Beaufort Sea. Together, these areas cover approximately 1,800 square kilometres.


The Beaufort Sea is home to one of the world's largest summering stocks of beluga whales. The Tarium Niryutait MPA will ensure the long-term sustainable management of the population, which concentrates in the Mackenzie River Delta and estuary. During the summer months, many in the population come to this area to feed, socialize and raise their calves. The Tarium Niryutait MPA will also protect harvesting traditions central to the Inuvialuit culture in the communities of Aklavik, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.


The Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area is Canada's eighth MPA under the Oceans Act, the first in the Canadian Arctic, and will be an integral part of Canada's expanding network of protected ocean areas. For the past 20 years, these waters have been managed as part of the voluntary Beaufort Sea Beluga Management Plan by the Fisheries Joint Management Committee. This co-management body, established under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, will continue to take stewardship responsibilities of this new protected area.


Through Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Government has worked closely with a variety of partner organizations, such as the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Inuvialuit Game Council and the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, to ensure the unique habitat of this area of the Beaufort Sea is protected for future generations


Copyright by the Fisheries Joint Management Committee

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