Canada failing to honour spirit of Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement by refusing access to northern shrimp

In recognition of the latest scientific information for northern shrimp, the Nunatsiavut Government is calling on the Government of Canada to protect the interests of Labrador Inuit over those of non- adjacent users in Shrimp Fishing Areas (SFA) 4 and 5. 

“Both SFAs are directly within and adjacent to the Labrador Inuit Marine Zone, as defined in the Constitutionally-protected Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement,” notes Nunatsiavut’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Greg Flowers. “Canada’s obligation regarding northern shrimp within our land claims agreement are not being fulfilled.” 

The Nunatsiavut Government’s interests must be held at a higher standard than Fisheries and Oceans Canada policy obligations, such as proportional sharing, added Minister Flowers. 

Within the Eastern Assessment Zone (EAZ) – which is comprised of the Northern Shrimp Fishing Management Units, Davis Strait East and Davis Strait West, Nunavut East and Nunavik East – science has indicated that the fishable biomass has increased by 102 per cent. In 2013, Canada revised the Management Area to bring the EAZ directly within and adjacent to the Labrador Inuit Marine Zone. This quota increase in the EAZ is an opportunity for Canada to offer access to the Nunatsiavut Government in keeping with the spirit and intent of the LILCA, says Minister Flowers. 

“The honour of the Crown will be called into question should Fisheries and Oceans Canada continue to make decisions and act in a manner that marginalizes the interests of Labrador Inuit. It is not acceptable to the Nunatsiavut Government that non-adjacent interests hold more access to northern shrimp in these areas than we do.”