Total Allowable Harvest/ Total Allowable Take

Each subpopulation of polar bears in Canada has a quota for each jurisdiction, or total allowable harvest (TAH)/total allowable take (TAT) that limits the number of bears that can be harvested each year. The total number of bears hunted in populations managed or co-managed by Nunavut, the jurisdiction with the largest population of polar bears, was approximately 415 from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, with a TAH of 468 bears. Between July 1, 2010 and June 30 2015, the average annual removal of bears (including harvest and kills in defense of life and property) in Canada was about 600. Almost all human-caused mortalities are subtracted from the TAH for the current year.

The few instances where a defense kill would not be removed from the quota include:
  • Defence kills within the Torngat Mountains National Park are deemed to be a loss of Polar Bear quota for Labrador Inuit and as such the Nunatsiavut Government is compensated monetarily. Every effort is made by Parks Canada to transport the meat and pelt either to Nain or the nearest Aullavik as soon as practical.
  • Defence kills within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area are deemed to be a kill from Labrador Inuit Polar Bear quota. The meat is returned to the nearest community and distributed by the Inuit Community Government. The pelt is turned over to the Nunatsiavut Government and distributed by decision of the Nunatsiavut Assembly.
  • Defence kills outside of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, are first offered to the Nunatsiavut Government for distribution amongst current licence holders.  If accepted by a licence holder it counts as a kill against the quota. If not accepted it becomes property of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and does not count towards the quota for the Nunatsiavut Government.