Polar Bear management planning in Newfoundland and Labrador is a joint effort between the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources (Wildlife Division), Nunatsiavut Government, the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board, and Parks Canada Agency.
Under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board (TWPCB) is empowered to establish, modify, or eliminate total allowable harvest (TAH) of non-migratory wildlife in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area (LISA), including polar bear, and has the power to recommend designate protected areas and species at risk within the LISA. The recommendations of the Board are communicated directly to the Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources (minister responsible for the Wild Life Act). The TWPCB consists of representatives of the Nunatsiavut Government, the Provincial Government, and the Canadian Government.
Within the Torngat Mountains National Park and Akami-uapishku / KakKasuak / Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve, management of Polar Bears is coordinated through Cooperative Management Boards (CMBs) as part of Impact and Benefits Agreements respecting each park signed between Nunatsiavut Government and Parks Canada. CMBs are advisory boards to the federal Minister responsible for national parks and have representatives appointed by the Nunatsiavut Government and Parks Canada Agency. The CMBs may provide advice to the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board as appropriate and these boards cooperate with respect to the management of Polar Bears and Polar Bear habitat. Parks Canada, based on advice from the CMBs, also participates in provincial management planning and works with Inuit governments and organizations from Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and Nunavut as well as provincial governments to support and participate in research and monitoring related to the Davis Strait Polar Bear subpopulation.
Labrador Inuit have the exclusive right to Harvest, throughout the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, the Total Allowable Harvest of polar bears established by the Province or in or for Newfoundland and Labrador. The Provincial Minister, on recommendation from the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board establishes the Total Allowable Harvest. The open season is between February 2 and June 30, annually.
Labrador Inuit harvest polar bears from the Davis Strait sub-population with a Total Allowable Harvest set at 12 licenses. The Nunatsiavut Government under a Ministerial Directive manages access to the licenses.
Polar bear continue to provide cultural and subsistence importance to Labrador Inuit and this is recognized in the Labrador Inuit Land Claim Agreement.
Learn about legislation that helps manage and conserve polar bears in Newfoundland and Labrador.