The FJMC Vision for the future is that all marine, anadromous and freshwater fish and marine mammal stocks of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region will be managed and conserved for the wise use and benefit of present and future generations. We interpret this to mean that stocks and habitats will remain healthy with respect to contaminants and population size and ecosystem structure, and that harvests are sustainable and managed cooperatively with the harvesters. The mechanisms that will be used to ensure that this vision is maintained will include the following:
- Provision of effective management programs for fish and marine mammal stocks and their supporting ecosystems including the support of related programs and activities operated by ISR communities, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Inuvialuit Game Council.
- Use of sound scientific and traditional knowledge of the renewable freshwater and marine resources of the ISR and their ecosystems.
- Effective co-management of the resources of the ISR with the Inuvialuit Game Council and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and in cooperation with Hunters and Trappers Committees of the ISR.
- Support of Inuvialuit culture, beliefs and practices with respect to fish and marine mammals and promotion of greater participation of Inuvialuit people in the management of the resource.
- Cooperation and partnership with others in recognition that long-term stewardship may require involvement in national and international issues and may mean increased interest of others in the implications of outside events for the Canadian Arctic.
Fundamental Principles of the FJMC
The following Fundamental Principles shall guide the actions and decisions of the Fisheries Joint Management Committee. Committee actions will:
- Incorporate the “precautionary principle”, and the “precautionary approach” as information and knowledge become available, in its approach to the management of the renewable freshwater and marine resources of the ISR.
- Support the goals of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.
- Support the spirit and principles of “ Adaptive Co-management” in its approach to the management of the fish and marine mammals of the ISR and their supporting ecosystems and as a means for continuous learning from the past to improve actions in the future.
- Support the traditions, beliefs and activities of the Inuvialuit, and be respectful and considerate of the traditions and beliefs of all people.
- Endeavor to ensure that fish and marine mammals are treated with respect during any harvesting, scientific studies or other use of the resource.
All the Fundamental Principles will be important in guiding FJMC actions. However, in the event of a conflict, the FJMC members believe that the first principle should have priority. The FJMC interprets the Precautionary Principle to mean that we should err on the side of conservation when we estimate the effects of harvest levels or industrial developments on the long-term health of the resource. Members feel that this approach is critical given the uncertainties and risks to the resource, which include: our incomplete understanding of Arctic fish and marine mammal resources; the year to year variability in the Arctic environment; the projected warming of the world climate; the economic viabilities and benefits projected from proposed industrial and other developments. Relative to each other, the remaining four principles are considered of equal importance.