News Brief: Inuvialuit ask feds for regional environment assessment of Beaufort Sea


The Inuvialuit are pitching a far-reaching scientific and traditional knowledge study that would help researchers better understand how Arctic ecosystems will be affected by climate change, increased shipping and oil and gas development.

“We see ourselves as part of the ecosystem, so anything that is going to affect that is going to affect us as well,” said Duane Smith, chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.

… The letter, co-authored by the Inuvialuit Game Council, says the Arctic Ocean, compared to Canada’s other coastlines, is the least studied. It also calls for long-term monitoring and reports considerable gaps when it comes to understanding issues such as the amount of fish and their food sources.

UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries researcher Rashid Sumaila said he thinks the Beaufort Sea would be appropriate for a broad study such as an RSEA.

“There’s a lot of changes coming. This makes the place really special,” said Sumaila.

Beaufort Sea Coastline” photo by Flickr user ShoreZone reproduced here under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0