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Small-scale Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus fisheries in Canada's Nunavut: management challenges and options

Authors

  • M. J. Roux,

    Corresponding author
    1. Arctic Stock Assessment and Integrated Ecosystem Research, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 5204-301 50th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT, X1A 1E2 Canada
      Tel.: +1 867 669 4905; email: marie-julie.roux@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
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  • R. F. Tallman,

    1. Arctic Stock Assessment and Integrated Ecosystem Research, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N6 Canada
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  • C. W. Lewis

    1. Resource Management, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, P. O. Box 358, Iqaluit, NU, X0A 0H0 Canada
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Tel.: +1 867 669 4905; email: marie-julie.roux@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Abstract

The Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus is a diverse and abundant resource in Canada's Nunavut. The anadromous form is primarily targeted by exploitation in small-scale fisheries. The continued importance of subsistence fisheries and growing interest in further developing commercial fisheries underline the need for proper management of S. alpinus in northern Canada. This paper presents the current state of S. alpinus fisheries in Nunavut and related management challenges. An alternate framework for assessment using life-history information as it determines stock productivity and resilience to harvesting is presented. This framework combines (1) a risk assessment tool [productivity–susceptibility analysis (PSA)] to evaluate the relative vulnerability of S. alpinus stocks to harvest and (2) a conceptual model for quantitative assessment to determine sustainable harvest levels. Diversity in S. alpinus life history and contrast in vulnerability scores derived from PSA assessment are demonstrated for a sample of 86 anadromous stocks from throughout Nunavut. These data provide evidence in support of an alternate strategy for assessment permitting to integrate diversity in S. alpinus life history for improved generalization and representativeness. Salvelinus alpinus fisheries in Arctic regions exemplify the need for stock assessment and management alternatives to ensure fish conservation in remote, sensitive ecosystems and in data-poor circumstances.

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