Results of a traditional ecological ... Arctic char in Qikiqtarjuaq (Nunavut) fishing areas

Results  of  a  traditional  ecological ... Arctic char in Qikiqtarjuaq (Nunavut) fishing areas
Results of a traditional ecological knowledge study on
Arctic char in Qikiqtarjuaq (Nunavut) fishing areas
M. Y. Janjua, J. Etuangat, E. Sudlovenick, Z. Martin, R. F. Tallman,
M. Friesen, T. Carmichael
Arctic Aquatic Research Division
Central and Arctic Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N6
2016
Canadian Manuscript Report of
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3090
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Canadian Manuscript Report of
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3090
2016
RESULTS OF A TRADITIONAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE STUDY ON
ARCTIC CHAR IN QIKIQTARJUAQ (NUNAVUT) FISHING AREAS
by
M. Y. Janjua, J. Etuangat, E. Sudlovenick, Z. Martin, R. F. Tallman,
M. Friesen and T. Carmichael
Central and Arctic Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 501 University Crescent,
Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N6
ii
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2016.
Cat. No. Fs97-4/3090E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-660-04462-0
ISSN 1488-5379
Correct citation for this publication is:
Janjua M. Y., Etuangat J., Sudlovenick E., Martin Z., Tallman R. F., Friesen M. and Carmichael
T. 2016. Results from a traditional ecological knowledge study on Arctic char in Qikiqtarjuaq
(Nunavut) fishing areas. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3090: 15 + vii p.
iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………………………
vi
RÉSUMÉ…………………………………………………………………………………
vii
1.0. INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………..
1
2.0. OBJECTIVES……………………………………………………………………….
1
2.1. STUDY AREA………………………………………………………………….
2
3.0. METHODS ………………………………………………………………………….
2
4.0. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION……………………………………………………..
2
4.1 PADDLE FIORD………………………………………………………………..
2
4.2 NEDLUKSEAK LAKE SYSTEM………………………………………………
3
4.3 CONFERERATION FIORD…………………………………………………….
3
4.4 NUDLUNG FIORD……………………………………………………………...
3
4.5. OTHER FISHING AREAS……………………………………………………..
3
5.0. CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………
4
6.0. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………………….
4
7.0. REFERENCES………………………………………………………………………
5
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1.
Map of the main Arctic char fishing areas used by the community of
Qikiqtarjuaq, Broughton Island, Nunavut (Modified from Read
2000)………………………………………………………………...
iv
6
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1.
Table 2.
Table 3.
Information about the ten Qikiqtarjuaq community fishers who
completed the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Survey 2014 and
were
interviewed
as
a
follow-up
to
the
survey
responses……………………………………………………..
Summary of results from Traditional Ecological Knowledge Survey
2014 questions related to changes in Arctic char abundance and fish
size
in
the
Qikiqtarjuaq
community
fishing
areas………………………………………………………….
Pooled responses (translated quotes) from the Traditional
Knowledge Survey 2014. ……………..
6
6
8
LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix I
Appendix II
The survey form used in 2014 for the Qikiqtarjuaq Traditional
Ecological Knowledge study on Arctic char for the Qikiqtarjuaq
community's fishing areas. …………………………………………..
The consent form competed by the Qikiqtarjuaq community fishers
for the Qikiqtarjuac Arctic char Traditional Knowledge Survey
2014………………………………....................................................
v
12
15
ABSTRACT
Janjua M. Y., Etuangat J., Sudlovenick E., Martin Z., Tallman R. F., Friesen M. and Carmichael
T. 2016. Results from a traditional ecological knowledge study on Arctic char in Qikiqtarjuaq
(Nunavut) fishing areas. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3090: 15 + vii p.
Qikiqtarjuaq, an island community on Broughton Island across from the northeast shore
of Baffin Island, Nunavut, traditionally harvests Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) from adjacent
lake and river systems. A traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) study was conducted in 2014
to consult community fishers and collect knowledge about the Arctic char harvested from those
fishing areas with emphasis on changes that have occurred since the last TEK study conducted in
1995/1997. Information was collected from ten fishers who filled out a survey and then were
interviewed. This will serve as basic information for proposing and designing scientific research
work.
The four main areas fished were within or near Paddle Fiord, Nudlung Fiord, Nedluseak
Fiord and Confederation Fiord. Paddle Fiord was the most popular fishing area regularly used for
subsistence and commercial fishing. Survey respondents indicated Arctic char in this area were
becoming healthier and increasing in abundance. However, Nudluit Lake (Nudlung Fiord) was
noted as an area of concern because of observed drastic decreases in abundance. Other
waterbodies varied in the health and abundance of Arctic char. Over the last 10 years a new
population of Arctic char-like fish has been observed in the ocean surrounding Qikiqtarjuaq.
Fishers regularly observed and caught other marine fish species they had not seen before.
Generally the respondents indicated that the present fishing areas are too small for the
increasing number of fishers and that the Arctic char commercial quotas should be increased and
new fishing areas opened. The respondents also indicated a need for separate quotas for
waterbodies rather than for areas. The fishers would like Qikiqtarjuaq fishing areas to be added
to DFO research plans and they wanted to be included in future Arctic char research projects.
vi
RÉSUMÉ
Janjua M. Y., Etuangat J., Sudlovenick E., Martin Z., Tallman R. F., Friesen M. and Carmichael
T. 2016. Reulsts from a traditional ecological knowledge study on Arctic char in Qikiqtarjuaq
(Nunavut) fishing areas. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3090: 15 + vii p.
Qikiqtarjuaq, une communauté insulaire sur l'île Broughton en face de la rive nord-est de l'île de
Baffin, au Nunavut, pêche traditionnellement l’omble chevalier (Salvelinus alpinus) dans les
réseaux de lacs et rivières adjacents. Une étude sur le savoir écologiques traditionnel a été
réalisée en 2014 afin de recueillir les connaissances des pêcheurs de la communauté sur l’omble
chevalier récolté dans ces zones de pêche, en mettant l’accent sur les changements survenus
depuis la dernière étude sur le savoir écologiques traditionnel conduite en 1995/1997.
L’information a été recueillie auprès de dix pêcheurs qui ont répondu à un sondage, puis ont été
interrogés. Cette étude servira de fondement pour concevoir et proposer des travaux de
recherche scientifique.
Les quatre principales zones de pêche étaient situées à l’intérieur ou à proximité des
fjords Paddle, Nudlung, Nedluseak et Confederation. Le fjord Paddle, régulièrement exploité
pour la pêche de subsistance comme pour la pêche commerciale, est apparu comme la zone de
pêche la plus fréquentée. Les répondants au sondage ont indiqué que l’omble chevalier dans cette
zone était de plus en plus sain et abondant. Le lac Nudluit (Fiord Nudlung) est en revanche un
sujet de préoccupation en raison du déclin drastique de l’abondance qui a été observé. La santé
et l’abondance de l’omble chevalier dans les autres plans d’eau sont variables. Au cours des dix
dernières années, une nouvelle population de poissons ressemblant à l’omble chevalier a été
observée dans l’océan aux alentours de Qikiqtarjuaq. Les pêcheurs ont régulièrement remarqué
et capturé d’autres espèces de poissons marins qu’ils n’avaient jamais vues auparavant.
Les répondants ont généralement indiqué que les zones de pêche actuelles étaient trop
petites pour le nombre croissant de pêcheurs, que les quotas de pêche commerciale de l’omble
chevalier devraient être augmentés et de nouveaux secteurs de pêche ouverts. Les répondants ont
également mentionné qu’ils préféreraient des quotas par plan d’eau plutôt que par zone. Les
pêcheurs souhaiteraient que les zones de pêche de Qikiqtarjuaq soient ajoutées aux plans de
recherche de Pêches et Océans Canada et voudraient être intégrés aux futurs projets de recherche
sur l’omble chevalier.
vii
1.0. INTRODUCTION
Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) can contribute to more effective management of
natural resources (Gagnon and Berteaux 2009) and helps to form a more comprehensive image
of a resource. When scientific research contains many uncertainties, other information sources
such as TEK can provide additional information. Such types of knowledge help to improve the
relationship between resource managers and resource users. It also helps to find common ground
that allows complementary use of different types of knowledge and understanding of the
complex environmental history of fish and fisheries in the study area (Hammit 2009). Traditional
knowledge is recognized as very important in fisheries and needs to be combined with more
formal assessments (Hipwell 1998). In data-deficient situations, such as many Nunavut fisheries,
qualitative assessments based on TEK can be a good starting point.
Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) is highly valued by the community of Qikiqtarjuaq (also known
as Qikiqtaakjuaq and formerly also called Broughton Island) for subsistence fishing and
maintaining traditional lifestyles. There are also commercial and recreational fisheries in some
areas. Qikiqtarjuaq is located on Broughton Island across from the northeast shore of Baffin
Island, Nunavut. Compared to some other Arctic char fisheries in Nunavut, very few studies
have been conducted on Qikiqtarjuaq fisheries (see Babaluk et al. 2010). A TEK survey was
conducted in 1995-1997 along with collection of biological data (Read 2000). The knowledge
shared was mostly related to fisheries related changes in Paddle Fiord, Natluksiak Lake and
Nudluit Lake as well as possible reasons for the changes. Babaluk et al. (2010) reported results
obtained from Arctic char sport fishing derbies (recreation fishery) held at Natluksiak (Nalusiaq)
Lake in 2002 and 2004.
In December 2012, a community meeting was held with Nattivak Hunters and Trappers
Organization (Nattivak HTO) in Qikiqtarjuaq, under the Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation
Services Program (ACCASP), to discuss possibilities of further research on impacts of climate
change on surrounding ecosystems. During the meeting, the community emphasized the need for
new research on Arctic char in community fishing areas as they were observing many changes in
recent times. Such changes in Arctic char abundance and ecology have been observed in other
areas of Nunavut during recent years. Results from this study will be used to identify key issues
and critical habitat for Arctic char and help focus scientific investigations. Additionally, this
study will help to build on existing indigenous knowledge and expand the understanding of
Arctic char fisheries in the Qikiqtarjuaq fishing areas.
2.0. OBJECTIVES
The objective of this TEK study was to consult the community of Qikiqtarjuaq and collect
knowledge on Arctic char in local fishing areas with an emphasis on collecting information
about any changes that have occurred during the last 15 years. As well, this study intended to
document the community fishers' perspective on quotas, new proposed areas for commercial
Arctic char fisheries as well as learn of other fisheries related issues.
1
2.1. STUDY AREA
Qikiqtarjuaq, home to 562 inhabitants, is an island community located on Broughton Island
across from the northeast shore of Baffin Island along Davis Strait (Figure 1). It is close to the
northern end of Auyuittuq National Park. The general vicinities of the main traditional fishing
areas of the community fishers are, in order of most southerly to northerly, Paddle Fiord,
Nedluseak Fiord, Confederation Fiord and Nudlung Fiord. Areas near or in Iqalugajut Fiord and
North Pangnirtung Fiord are also fished. The area around Qikiqtarjuaq is inhabited by marine
mammals such as walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), polar bear (Ursus maritimus), seal, narwhal
(Monodon monoceros), beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) and occasionally bowhead whales
(Balaena mysticetus).
3.0. METHODS
The study was conducted in May 2014 at Qikiqtarjuaq. Ten fishers, selected by the Nattivik
HTO based on their diverse fishing experience, completed a survey (Appendix I) and were then
interviewed as a follow up to the survey responses. All ten fishers completed a consent form
(Appendix II). The fishers were chosen after a meeting with the community’s Nattivak HTO, at
which support and participation in a TEK study was requested. The survey addressed a range of
topics including identification of the most frequented fishing areas, Arctic char abundance, fish
size, fish diet, quality of the fish meat, habitat and spawning, with specific questions asking if
any changes over time had been noticed. The survey also asked about ecosystem level and
climate related changes. At a later time individual interviews with local fishers were conducted.
Two Arctic College students (EJ and SE) interviewed the fishers based on the survey questions.
Those interviewed included seven elders and three adults including one woman (Table 1). Those
interviewed were encouraged to add to their own responses and to address other related issues.
Topics were allowed to arise as naturally as possible.
4.0. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Results of the survey and interviews (Table 2 and 3) will be discussed according to the
geographic areas fished from the most southerly (Paddle Fiord) to the most northerly area
(Nudlung Fiord) (Figure 1). Most fishers reported Paddle Fiord as the primary fishing area with
other main areas being in or near Nedlukseak, Confederation and Nudlung Fiords.
4.1. PADDLE FIORD
Paddle Fiord located approximately 75 km southeast of Qikiqtarjuaq remains the most fished
area. It consists of several lakes along the Paddle River including Souvailik (Siurajuit) Lake
(Read 2000), and is used for subsistence and commercial fishing. Most of the respondents
reported that the Arctic char abundance had either increased or remained the same over the past
10 years while size of fish remained the same, and that the Arctic char were becoming healthier.
Some fishers indicated that there are too many fishers for the small area and that other areas
should be opened with new quotas. It was also requested that there be an increase in quota to
avoid winter kill. A previous TEK survey in 1995/1997 found that the Paddle Fiord Arctic char
population was stable (Read 2000). The mortality observed in the Paddle River in 2012-2013
2
was probably due to low water levels in the river causing it to narrow. In the 1980s the Paddle
River was widened when it got narrow and slow, to allow the Arctic char to migrate back. The
community fishers think this intervention may be necessary again.
4.2. THE NEDLUKSIAK LAKE SYSTEM
The Nedluksiak Lake system is located between Nedluseak Fiord and Okoa Bay, approximately
130 km northeast of the community of Qikiqtarjuaq. It is made up of a series of five small lakes
located near Auyuittuq National Park. In Natluksiak (also known as Nalusiaq and Natluksiak)
Lake, the Arctic char abundance either decreased or remained the same, while size of fish got
smaller. In the 1995/1997 study, a trend in decreasing Arctic char population had been observed
(Read 2000). There is also an important recreational fishery for the community in this area,
especially in Nedluksiak (Nalusiaq) Lake in Auyuittuq National Park. In 2002 and 2004, Parks
Canada, assisted by DFO, monitored the local recreational Arctic char fisheries held on the
Nedluksiak (Nalusiaq) Lake system during a sport fishing derby to study the biological
characteristics of the angled catch. They found an increase in catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE), and
increases in fish mean size and age in 2004 compared to 2002 (Babaluk et al. 2010).
4.3. THE CONFEDERATION FIORD AREA
The Confederation Fiord area is located north of Nedluseak Fiord and consists of four main
lakes: Ugallipaaq Lake, Qikiqtalik Lake, Akullipaaq Lake and Tasiujaq Lake. Arctic char were
abundant in all four of these lakes. The respondents described that Confederation Fiord area had
good populations of healthy Arctic char and that it is suitable for commercial fishing1. These
lakes may have the potential to develop into a viable commercial fishery.
4.4. NUDLUNG FIORD
Nudlung Fiord, located approximately 180 km northwest of the community of Qikiqtarkjuaq is
the most northern fishing area. Nudluit Lake is the main lake fished. The community fishers
reported concern that the Arctic char abundance and size of fish both decreased in Nudluit Lake.
They advised that Nudluit Lake should be closed for commercial fishing until the population
recovers and stabilizes. The TEK survey in 1995/1997 also found that the number of fish and
size of fish both were decreasing in Nudluit Lake. During the late 1980s and 1990s, the Nudlung
Fiord area (outside of Auyuittuq National Park) was harvested commercially for Arctic char.
Nudluit Lake has historically been a good fishing spot. This population was healthy in the 1970s
but declined by the mid to late 1990s perhaps due to over-fishing and commercial fishing (Read
2000).
4.5. OTHER FISHING AREAS
Other fishing areas included Iqalugajut Fiord, Sarvalik Fiord and North Pangnirtung Fiord (Table
2 and 3). Arctic char were observed to be healthy in these areas. Overall, the community fishers
indicated that the present fishing areas are too small for the increasing number of fishers in
Qikiqtarjuaq. The community identified the Nedlukseak Fiord area and Sarvalik Lake as
potential areas for new commercial fisheries.
1
The Nattivak HTO in Qikiqtarjuaq requested and has been granted an exploratory quota of 2000 kg in the area.
3
Research needs include the identification of the fish species recently appearing in waters around
Qikiqtarjuaq and determining their origin. Such big size char-like fish also have been reported
from other marine areas of Nunavut e.g. Pangnirtung Fiord (unpublished discussions during the
Ikaluit Lake, Regional Advisory Process (RAP) meeting held in Iqaluit, June 2014). The
Qikiqtarjuaq community fishers have not noticed any major change in the Arctic char diet during
last few years. The meat quality was good. Spawning was observed in the fall.
Changes in other fish species have occurred. Fishers regularly observed and caught other fish
species they had not seen in the area in the last ten years. These species are suspected to be
Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) and redfish (Sebastes
mentella or Sebastes fasciatus). Additionally, the fishers noted that there were more Atlantic
salmon (Salmo salar) and capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the area compared to the past. Also,
there is an observed decline in marine mammal populations with the exception of bearded seals
(Erignathus barbatus) and polar bear. The ice free period is increasing in the area and at times
the ice has appeared thinner than usual. In the past 15 years the fish have started to migrate down
to the salt water earlier, and to migrate up to the freshwater later. This could be a reason for
increased fall and winter mortalities in the fishing areas, especially Paddle Fiord. However, the
fishers indicated that Arctic char is responding positively to the changes in the environment. It
was stated that a proper fish plant was needed in Qikiqtarjuaq.
5.0. CONCLUSION
The 2014 TEK survey provided important information on the knowledge of the Qikiqtarjuaq
fishers on Arctic char in their fishing areas. Since the last TEK survey in 1995/1997, many of the
fishing areas remained the same and the abundance and size either remained the same or
increased. However, there is concern that some areas are being over-fished e.g. Nudluit Lake.
Other areas can support more fishing e.g. in the Paddle Fiord area. Decreased abundance was
attributed to over-fishing, winter kill and changes in the climate. Generally the respondents
indicated that the present fishing areas are too small for the increasing number of fishers and that
the Arctic char commercial quotas should be increased and new fishing areas opened. The
respondents also indicated a need for separate quotas for waterbodies rather than for areas.
Fisheries research needs were identified for Arctic char as well as for other fish and marine
mammals. The fishers would like Qikiqtarjuaq fishing areas to be added to DFO research plans
and they want to be included in future Arctic char research and monitoring projects.
6.0 ACKNOWLEGEMENTS
This study was partially funded by Nunavut Wildlife Research Trust Project (NWRT) project
grant number 3-13-24. We are thankful to Nattivak Hunters and Trappers Organization
Qikiqtarjuaq and the community of Qikiqtarjuaq for their support and participation.
4
7.0. REFERENCES
Babaluk, J.A., Ohokannoak, J., Schlosser, K., Wastle, R.J., and Bajno, R. 2010. Arctic char,
Salvelinus alpinus, sport fishery of Nalusiaq Lake, Auyuittuq National Park, Nunavut,
May 2002 and 2004. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2933: ix + 69 p.
Hammitt, S. 2009. Collecting local knowledge about marine systems: a literature review. MITUSGS Science Impact Collaborative, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge,
MA.
Read, C.J. 2000. Information from Arctic charr fisheries in the Baffin Region, Nunavut, 1995 to
1999. Can. Data Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 1067: x + 176 p.
Hipwell, B. 1998. Integrating local and traditional ecological knowledge into Fisheries
Management in Canada. Final Report. Marine Ecosystem Conservation Branch, Fisheries
and Oceans, Canada. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/286379.pdf
Gagnon, C. A., and D. Berteaux. 2009. Integrating traditional ecological knowledge and
ecological science: a question of scale. Ecology and Society 14(2): 19.
5
Figure1. Map of the main Arctic char fishing areas used by the community of Qikiqtarjuaq,
Broughton Island, Nunavut ((Modified from Read 2000).
6
Table 1. Information about the ten Qikiqtarjuaq community fishers who completed the Traditional
Knowledge Survey 2014 and were interviewed as a follow-up to the survey responses.
#
Name
Age
Group
Fishing
Since
Major Fishing
area
Other
Fishing area
Fishing Months
1
Aimo Kooneeliusie
Adult
All life
Nutluksiak
-
All year
2
Jacopie Newkingak
Elder
50 Y
Nudlung
Paddle
Winter
3
Gordie Audlakiak
Adult
All life
Paddle Fiord
-
Winter
4
Joanasie Kooneeliusie
Elder
50 Y
PaddleFiord
-
All year
5
6
Adult
Elder
8Y
All life
Paddle (Tunsuk)
Sarvalik
Qammatalik/ Nedluseak
Winter
Spring/Winter
7
Phillip Keeyootak
Leah Qummuatuk
Leetia Kuksiak
Elder
long
Paddle Fiord
Nudluit/Nutluksiak
Spring/Winter
8
Juilie Kuksiak
Elder
20 Y
Paddle Fiord
-
All year
9
Johnny Keeyootak
Levi Nutaralak
Elder
35 Y
Paddle Fiord
Nedluseak /Sarvalik
Winter
Elder
50 Y
Paddle Fiord
Nedluseak
Winter/Summer
10
Table 2. Summary of results from the Traditional Knowledge Survey 2014 questions related to
changes in Arctic char abundance and fish size in the Qikiqtarjuaq community fishing areas.
#
Fishing Area
Last Fished
Number of Fish
Size of Fish
Year of Change
1
Nudlung
2014
Decrease
Decrease
last 2-3 years
2
Nudlung/Nutluksiak
2014
Decrease
Decrease
50 years
3
Paddle /Nudlung
2014
No change
No change
4
Nedlukiaq
No Answer
Increasing
No Answer
No Answer
No Answer
5
Paddle (Avaliqqut/Kangilliarjuit)
2014
Decreasing
No Answer
No Answer
6
Sarvalik
2014
Increasing
Increasing
No Answer
7
Paddle Fiord
2014
Increasing
Increasing
4-5 years
8
Paddle Fiord
2014
increasing
Increasing
No Answer
9
Paddle Fiord
2014
No change
No change
No change
10
Nedluseak
2014
No Answer
Decreasing
No Answer
7
Table 3. Pooled responses (translated quotes) from the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Survey
2014.
1. ARCTIC CHAR FISHING AREAS
1.1 PADDLE FIORD




















Paddle Fiord is a very vast area and has a very good fish population.
One can catch 100 fish in one night. There has never been a decrease in the fish
population.
This area is a good resource for fish in the start of snowmobiling season.
The quota for the area should be increased and there should be some commercial
fisheries.
Paddle Fiord’s fish have appeared to become healthier in colour.
Tunusuq (Paddle Area Lake) has a healthy population with healthy char.
Fish population in Qammatalik (in Paddle Area) is also increasing.
Lakes are not getting as much fish compared to the past because the river is getting
smaller.
Fish is getting healthier in the areas where they were not healthy. Arctic char are getting
healthier because unhealthy fish was fished out in the area.
The meat is getting more reddish in colour, and size is also getting bigger compared to 45 years ago.
In the summer there are Arctic char in the ocean in all the area between Sunshine Fiord
and Paddle Fiord.
Six lakes in Paddle Fiord have shared quotas and it may result in overfishing.
Paddle River needs special attention because its size is decreasing and fish can’t climb
back. It was fixed in the past and need to be done again.
There is large winter mortality because of thick ice during winter. Area and depth of
rivers and lakes are decreasing. Fish should be fished in summer before they die.
Last year, a lot of fish got frozen in the Paddle River. It was caused by the river getting
smaller and the fish aren’t able to get up to the lake.
When a fisher opened up a hole in the river, a strong rotten smell came out.
The river in Paddle Fiord seems to be deteriorating and it may be affecting the fish
health.
During winters, when a hole is opened in the lake ice, a rotten smell emerged. This might
come from the fish that might have died out in the lake during the winter.
Fish in Paddle lakes die off when they aren’t fished out, considering the thickness of the
ice.
The fish in Paddle Lake seem to have more and more red spots on the skin and it also has
something to do with the event in 2012 – 2013.
1.2 NEDLUKSEAK AREA


No change in fish size and number is noticed in Nedlukseak area.
Nedlukseak has a healthy population but with variable meat colour.
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
There are too many fish in a small lake and they die because of overcrowding and
suffocation.
In the past fish died in the rivers of Nedlukseak due to over-crowding and under-fishing.
1.3 CONFEDERATION FIORD



Confederation Fiord has a good population of healthy char and the area is suitable for
commercial fishing.
Arctic char in Confederation Fiord is healthy and in good abundance.
Confederation Fiord Lakes has a wide variety of fish species. Some of them are not seen
before.
1.4 NUDLUNG FIORD
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
There has been change in the number of fish in the area especially in the Nudluit Lake.
One can be very lucky to catch more than a few with nets. Catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE)
has decreased from 30-40 fish per night to 2-10 fish per night.
Fish size has decreased. For the last two years, fish is too small for sustainable fisheries.
Commercial fishery is affecting two lakes.
The area should be closed for commercial fishing until the population recovers.
1.5 OTHER FISHING AREAS



Sarvalik Fiord also has very healthy fish population for commercial fisheries.
Arctic char from this Sarvalik Lake can weigh up to 10-15 pounds.
North Pangnirtung Fiord also has a healthy population where community like to fish in
the early boating season.
2. ARCTIC CHAR DIET, SPAWNING





Arctic char don’t feed in the winter.
No changes in diet have been noticed in recent years.
Arctic char eat Kinguk (brine shrimp) as a main diet in the summer.
Arctic char diet also includes cod, gastropods, and mosquitos (insects).
Fish with eggs are observed in the fall. Fish usually go to the pebbly areas and disturb the
bottom, fuzz it and drop their eggs. They like to sink their eggs under the pebbles.
3. COMMERCIAL FISHERIES AND QUOTAS





There are more fishermen now and the commercial fishing area should be increased.
Commercial fisheries are not allowed in smaller lakes and the fish just die off.
DFO should do some research and explore the commercial fishing areas in Nudluit Lake.
Fish abundance change every year. With full moon, number of fish decrease.
Parks seems to be affecting the rivers. Fishing quotas are not allowed in these areas.
9


At present, there is lump sum quota for each area. There should be separate quotas for
each lake.
There should be a proper fish plant at Qikitarqjuaq.
4. ECOSYSTEM
4.1 BIG CHAR-LIKE FISH
 There is a new fish population in the waters around Qikiqtarjuaq, and I suspect they are
salt water fish.
 For the last 10 years, very large and healthy Arctic char have started to show up in the
waters surrounding Qikiqtarjuaq in the summer season between June and September.
 They are red in color.
 These big char are not found in winter months in any fishing area.
 There is need to do research to find out where they are coming from.
 These fish might come from the Coronation Fiord at or near the Penny Ice Cap.
 We never have seen them in the lakes.
4.2 OTHER FISH






There are also some unknown fish having spikes on the side with round short heads.
They are big enough to get caught in the nets.
There are also some other type of fish noticed in the summer in the Broughton channel.
They are having the same colour as char. Their teeth also stuck out.
Atlantic salmon and lump fish are coming in the area.
Kavisilik (Atlantic herring) of 9-12 inch in size are also observed.
Capelin are here since long but their numbers have increased during recent years.
Kakilisak (ninespine stickleback) was common in Paddle Fiord area but are decreasing
now.
4.3 OTHER ANIMALS


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



There seems to be a decline on other animal populations, on the land and in water, except
for the polar bears.
Polar bear population is increasing.
They move towards areas where there is no ice. Increase in ice free season is one of the
reasons.
Seal population is reducing near Qikiqtarjuaq and this year (2014-2015) there haven’t
been as many seals as usual.
For the last two years, there is hardly any ringed seal (Pusa hispida) in the area.
However, bearded seals population is increasing.
Some seal wasting is also happening. It should be controlled.
There are more killer whales and pilot whales. Bowhead whales are also increasing for
the last 10 years.
There are more and more geese and they are taking over the duck’s territory.
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5. CLIMATE CHANGE

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



The ice on the lakes in Qikiqtarjuaq fishing areas has been fairly thin during the past 10
to 15 years.
However, ice thickness changes yearly and this year (2014-2015) ice is really thick.
The snow season also seems shorter.
This year (2014-2015), the ice in the lake has started to melt earlier than usual.
The lakes freezing time is also changing compared to recent past, and as a result, Arctic
char movement between lakes and ocean is also changing. Nudlung
In the past 15 years the fish have been migrating down earlier, and migrate up later. Fish
is responding positively to the changes in the environment.
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APPENDICES
Appendix I. The survey form used in 2014 for the Qikiqtarjuaq Traditional Ecological
Knowledge study on Arctic char for the Qikiqtarjuaq community's fishing areas.
NWRT QIKIQTARJUAQ ARCTIC CHAR TRADITIONAL ECOLOGICL
KNOWLEDGE SURVEY
Interview #: __________________ Date: ____________________
Participant: _______________ Interviewer: ____________________
Interview Time: ______________________
Gender:
M
F
Age Group:
Elder Adult Youth
Notes/Comments:
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
1- Where do you usually fish? (Mark locations on map)
Where
When
Number Fishing in area since
(Months)
of days
fished
per year
Number
of When last
years fished
fished
in
that area
2- Have you noticed any changes in the Arctic char you catch?
Yes
Where
No
Number of fish Size of fish
Increase
Decrease
or Same
Colour
and Year since you have
taste of fish
noticed changes
occurring
Change
or Same
Increase
Decrease
or Same
12
3- Do you have any idea what Arctic char eat? Have you observed any change in its feeding
during recent years?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
4- Have you noticed any other changes in the Arctic char?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
5- Why do you think these changes are occurring?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
6- Have you ever seen Arctic char fish ready to give eggs (egg fish?)
If yes
Where?
When?
7- Do you notice any change in Arctic char breeding during recent years?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
8- Are there places that you usually see young char?
Where?
When?
9- Are there any Arctic char fishing areas you consider important or sensitive for some
reason? Why they are important?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
10- Is there anything else you would like to say about Arctic char in your community/region?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
11- What other types of fish did you see or catch? Where? At what time of year?
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_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
12- Do you think, the lakes/rivers ice free period has increased? During last 15 years
Increase
Decrease
No change
13- If increased how it is affecting your fishing and other activities?
Positively
Negatively
No effect
14- Have you notice any changes in the land, water, animals, or other fish in Arctic char
fishing areas area?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
15- Are there other people you know of that we should interview?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
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Appendix II. The consent form competed by the Qikiqtarjuaq community fishers for the Nunavut
Wildlife Research Trust - Qikiqtarjuac Arctic char Traditional Knowledge Survey
2014.
CONSENT FORM FOR INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS
Project Title:
Community consultation and traditional knowledge studies on Arctic char in Qikiqtarjuaq fishing
areas with emphasis on changes in during last 15 years.
NWRT Project Number: 3-13-24
Project Leader: Dr. Ross Tallman
Project Researcher: Muhammad Yamin Janjua, Zoya Martin
Organization:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Cres., Winnipeg, MB,
R3T 2N6, Ph: (204) 984-5541, Fax: (204) 984-2403, E-mail: Muhammad.Janjua@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Project Objectives:
The objectives of this proposed research are to consult and collect traditional ecological
knowledge (TEK) from Qikiqtarjuaq community on the Arctic char in adjacent community
fishing areas with emphasis on changes that have occurred during the last 15 years and use this
consultation and TEK information as base line information for proposing and designing further
scientific research.
Medium of interview: Face to face using questioner and audio recording.
Consent to be interviewed and recorded:
I have been fully informed of the objectives of this study being conducted by the Fisheries and
Oceans Canada (DFO) and partially funded by Nunavut Wildlife Research Trust. I understand
these objectives and consent to being interviewed for this study. I understand that steps will be
undertaken to ensure that this interview will remain confidential unless I consent to being
identified. The data collected in this interview is the property of DFO and will be used to inform
research within DFO. The information collected will be respected and used respectfully. A final
report from these interviews will be sent directly to each participant.
I desire that my identity be non-confidential and that the information I
provide be attributed to me.
I desire that my identity and the information I provide be confidential.
Name (please print): ________________________________
Signature: ________________________________________
Date: ____________________________________________
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