Pangnirtung, Nunavut

Commercial Fishing

This summer me and my step-dad went commercial fishing. We needed at least 1175 pounds [530 Kg] of Arctic char. We had to stay another day because some of the fish were pink. We had to throw the pink ones back and keep the reddish ones. The reason why some of the fish are turning pink is because their diet is changing. Fisheries ship them down south but white people don’t like pink fish meat. We had to go Avituajuk because of this and that’s much farther down than we usually go.

In the winter we ice fish for halibut in Cumberland Sound in a place called 3-13. In 1983, Greenlandic people came to our community to teach us how to fish for halibut. They taught us the old way of ice fishing using a long line with many, many hooks. Each hook is baited with squid and this is the most environmental way to fish for halibut. But if there’s no ice we cannot fish. And the past four years the ice has not been thick enough but this year area 3-13 froze on Nov. 5th. This story was told to me by Joopa Sowdluapik, who worked in fish plants for many years.

— Tyler Kilabuk

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