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Nunavut partnership

Marine Institute chair, Qikiqtani communities team up on inshore fisheries science


By Moira Baird

A Marine Institute research scientist has been named the Qikiqtaaluk Corporation chair in Qikiqtani inshore fisheries science, training and education.

Dr. Scott Grant is a research scientist at the Marine Institute’s Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources.
Photo: Angie Bishop

Dr. Scott Grant has been appointed to the role.

It’s a five-year partnership between Qikiqtaaluk Corp. (QC), the Marine Institute and Nunavut Arctic College to enhance inshore fisheries science in the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut through education, training, and research and development.

QC, the development arm of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, will invest $500,000 over the next five years to develop these initiatives.

“Qikiqtaaluk Corp. is excited to advance its commitment to Qikiqtani inshore fisheries by partnering with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University in establishing the QC chair in Qikiqtani inshore fisheries science, training and education,” said Mr. Flaherty, president and CEO of QC. “The position is located at the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources at the Marine Institute.”

QC announced the partnership on Oct. 26 in Iqaluit.

Fisheries development

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to continue to support communities in Nunavut as they seek to evaluate the potential for fisheries development in support of food security and potentially commercial development,” said Dr. Grant. “Our role is to help communities gather the research data needed to assess their development potential, in large part using local vessels and crews. We are offering our experience in emerging fisheries research and development to the communities to help guide them through the regulatory process, based on the wishes and decisions of the communities themselves.”

He holds a bachelor of science degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, a master of science degree from Trent University and a doctoral degree from Memorial University. He is also cross-appointed with the Department of Biology in Memorial’s Faculty of Science.

Dr. Grant and the team at the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (CSAR) have conducted fisheries research projects in Nunavut since 2001, including new and emerging fisheries, inshore fisheries resource assessments to help address food insecurity issues, Greenland shark bycatch reduction, seabed impacts of offshore turbot and shrimp trawlers and baseline ecological assessments.

Dr. Scott Grant on board the RV Ludy Pudluk.
Photo: Submitted

Community-based research

“Dr. Grant has been leading the programming for QC’s inshore fisheries research and training program on the RV Ludy Pudluk over the past two years, initiating important community-based research in four member communities in the Qikiqtani region,” said Jerry Ward, QC’s director of fisheries. “This chair position will enable him to focus 100 per cent on this important work and help provide the research positions required for a successful program over the next five years.”

QC owns and operates the multi-purpose research vessel, Ludy Pudluk, which conducts baseline research and surveys in the waters off the Qikiqtani region.

The region, which encompasses 10 per cent of Canada’s land mass, is the most northerly of Nunavut’s three regions.

Almost 20,000 people live in the Qikiqtani region’s 13 communities; 80 per cent are Inuit.

Sustainable harvesting

“Dr. Grant will lead education, research and training initiatives focused on the distribution and abundance of marine resources in coastal communities in the Qikiqtani region, life history characteristics for species of interest, as well as sustainable harvesting techniques and fishing gears that minimize environmental impacts and build on traditional ecological knowledge,” said Kevin Anderson, head of MI’s School of Fisheries.

CSAR is one of three applied research centres within the School of Fisheries.

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