New investments in research and training to grow Northern fisheries

News release

Nunavut fisheries benefitting from CanNor funding

May 8, 2018 – Qikiqtarjuaq, NU – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

Developing a strong Northern commercial fishing sector is an important part of growing the region’s economy. It has the potential to bring in millions of dollars to the economy and increase employment in local communities. Building that sector requires extensive research to ensure sustainable fish stocks. That’s why CanNor is investing over $2.5 million dollars over four years in fisheries research and training in Nunavut.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Minister responsible for CanNor.

CanNor is funding a four year fisheries research project off the coast of Baffin Island conducted by the Nunavut Fisheries Association. This builds on previous research in the region and will examine the commercial viability of porcupine crab, expand research into offshore and inshore turbot, investigate the stock’s patterns and confirm its sustainability, and explore better trawling technology.

CanNor is also supporting the development of an inshore turbot fishery in Qikiqtarjuaq. Experienced fishermen from Pangnirtung will provide practical training for Qikiqtarjuaq fishers.  As well, a large walk-in energy efficient community freezer powered by green technology is being built to hold harvested fish.


“The Government of Canada has long supported the development of the fisheries sector in the North. By providing investments in research, training, and infrastructure we are helping to grow an industry worth millions and provide employment to those living in Northern communities.”

Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Minister responsible for CanNor.

“Science and research is the backbone of fisheries development and sustainability.  The Nunavut Fisheries Association (NFA) appreciates CanNor’s ongoing support for our research initiatives and its commitment to a multi-year research program.  The NFA is committed to the growth and development of the Nunavut fishery and increasing employment and socio-economic benefits for Nunavummiut.”

Lootie Toomasie, A/Chair, Nunavut Fisheries Association

Quick facts

  • Since its creation, CanNor has invested more than $8 million in exploratory fisheries research and feasibility studies in the North. This has resulted in an increase in Northern fisheries quotas and expanded the development of the industry.

  • CanNor is investing $2,067,770 over four years in fisheries research off the coast of Baffin Island, supporting the work of the Nunavut Fisheries Association, formerly known as the Nunavut Offshore Allocation Holders Association.

  • CanNor is investing $526,130 over two years to develop the inshore turbot fishing industry in Qikiqtarjuaq. In addition, the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development and Transportation is investing $369,720 and the Hamlet is in contributing $23,300, bringing the total for the project to $919,150.

  • CanNor funding for the two projects amounts to $2,593,900. With the additional $393,020 from partners, both projects amount to a total of $2,986,920 in investment in Nunavut.

Associated links


Karl W. Sasserville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Craig Welsh
Communications Advisor,
CanNor, Nunavut Region
Brian Burke
Executive Director
Nunavut Fisheries Association

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