Issues of Importance

The following listing of marine-related issues was previously identified as being of particular importance for the Nunavut Marine Council’s planned work; this listing will continue to guide the NMC moving forward and may be revisited and updated periodically:

  • Infrastructure development (such as navigation aids, docking facilities, etc.) to support community resupply and marine transportation between communities;
  • Wildlife and fisheries management in coastal and marine areas, to ensure conservation and support harvesting rights under the NLCA;
  • Potential year-round ice-breaking interfering with wildlife habitat, travel, harvesting, etc.
  • Increased levels of cruise tourism which target sensitive wildlife and culturally significant places;
  • The challenge of managing and protecting biodiversity in a changing climate, amidst increasing industrial development;
  • Changes in the extent of sea ice, and in the dynamics of its formation and distribution in the Arctic;
  • Potential for salt contamination of water supplies and the impact of a rising sea level on salt-wedge penetration in rivers, with the risk of saltwater entering water intakes;
  • Increased levels of coastal erosion due to rising sea levels, with changing seasonal temperatures, ice cover and permafrost conditions also contributing to impacts on community structures, community viability and human activities generally;
  • Planning to ensure balanced use of coastal and marine areas for traditional activities and new commercial-industrial activities;
  • Development of capacity and employment opportunities for Nunavummiut in marine and other related activities;
  • Municipal and industrial wastewater effluent discharges, and their impacts on the marine environment;
  • Potential introduction of pollutants and exotic organisms through ballast water exchange in Nunavut waters;
  • Effectiveness of oil spill clean-ups in ice-covered waters;
  • Development and enforcement of proper standards for ships operating in ice-covered waters, including trained operators with experience in Nunavut;
  • Lack of regulation for ice trails, winter roads, fuel hauls and year-round berthing of accommodation barges in marine areas;
  • Use of seismic testing methods in ice-covered waters;
  • Identification of priorities for research, and for programs to support access to Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and research results; and
  • The need to ensure legislated protection of the Arctic environment.