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The responsible development of sustainable Northern fisheries is of paramount importance. This is particularly salient for communities where subsistence fisheries provide access to affordable, safe, and culturally relevant food. To profile current harvesting practices and food distribution in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, the community, the Hunter’s and Trappers Association, and Carleton University have collaborated to create an innovative Harvest Study that incorporates social, economic, and biological information by using a multi-dimensional research approach.

GPS satellite tracking and communication devices are used to track each hunter’s travel routes and report successful harvests, wildlife sightings, and environmental conditions using aspecifically designed application created in collaboration with Carleton University’s Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre and Garmin®.  By integrating satellite tracking and harvest reporting data with Geomatic’s Nunaliit software, each observation is immediately uploaded to a central database, with exact GPS location and observation viewable on an internet-accessible Atlas map. This detailed information is combined with pre- and post-trip cost analysis to assess expenses associated with harvesting country food.

Since the launch in August 2017, the Harvest Study has been administered by a local facilitator and youth apprentice in Gjoa Haven in partnership with researchers from Carleton University.

Select Publications

Chapman, J.M., Schott, S., Knowledge coevolution: generating new understanding through bridging and strengthening distinct knowledge systems and empowering local knowledge holders. Sustainable Science (2020)


Genome Canada 2014 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition: Genomics and Feeding the Future  (October 2015-March 2020): ”Towards a sustainable fishery for Nunavummiut”  with a number of co-funders

Virginia Walker (PI), Stephen Lougheed (co-PI), Peter van Coeverden de Groot (co-PI), Stephan Schott (co-PI), James Qitsualik, Jacqueline Chapman, Amos Hayes, Taylor Fraser