© Doug Chiasson Arctic fishing boat on ice

Arctic Fisheries

If our oceans and communities are to prosper over the long term, we need to consider new approaches to fisheries management.

Sustainable Fisheries can Benefit Arctic Communities

Establishing low-impact inshore fisheries can bring Arctic communities prosperity while meeting the needs of people and wildlife. New research and management approaches will strengthen existing Inuit-owned, large-vessel fishing operations in the region.

© Hannah Polaczek arctic fishing boat

Issues and Challenges

Building sustainable inshore fisheries requires more local research than many local communities can support. Innovative approaches will be key to collecting the required data in a cost-effective way.

Canada’s Arctic waters have not been studied as closely or intensely as those in southern Canada. Offshore Arctic fisheries currently target Greenland halibut, a large flatfish that lives deep below the surface and migrates over an immense territory. To ensure that these fisheries remain sustainable, we need to better understand the Greenland halibut’s migration and spawning habits.

What WWF-Canada is Doing

WWF-Canada is working in partnership with the communities of Kinngait, Sanikiluaq and Arviat to build community-based, commercial inshore fisheries. Funding these small-scale fisheries is helping build a sustainable economy in the Arctic. In Nunavut, we are partnering with local hunter and trapper organizations to accomplish this work.

We are also working with a team of researchers to better understand the migration patterns of Greenland halibut. Through the use of acoustic and satellite transmitters, we are able to track individual fish migrations through Arctic waters. This innovative use of technology is providing a deeper understanding of how, when and where the halibut migrate, and what this means to the sustainability of the fisheries.

© Doug Chiasson fishing boats on ice

What You Can Do

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© Shutterstock Arctic landscape

Learn More About Our Work in the Arctic

WWF-Canada is planning for an Arctic future that conserves wildlife, establishes direct partnerships with local communities and promotes the responsible development of resources.

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