Thursday, July 23, 2015

Spring Season Bust: Having Nunavut

The warming temperatures continue to affect the world's fisheries and no species is impervious, including those caught at the top of the world.  July is summer for most of us, but for the Nunavut people living within eyesight of the Arctic Circle, July brings spring and the coveted Wild Nunavut Char.  There is usually a "spring" run which lasts a few weeks in July and August, and a "fall" harvest that follows during the months of August through September.  If you are keeping track, that means summer only lasts a few weeks, hardly enough time to catch a decent tan. 

This year will be different for you wild char lovers however, due to the fact that the fish showed early, too early, unfortunately, for commercial harvesters to catch their quota.  The inside information I am receiving is that the spring run has come and gone with only a portion of the quota captured.  The Nunavut Char will not be making it to many dinner tables, at least not for their spring appearance.  The fish were on the move early this year and I believe much of that can be attributed to warmer water temperatures.  The char, like many other species including shellfish, rely on weather and water temperatures to dictate when they migrate and spawn.  

It's premature to guess when the char will begin their journey back for the fall season, though I would bet that commercial interests will be more attentive this time around.  Nunavut Char is a very special resource and it offers a very unique flavor that is incomparable.  Hopefully the fish return in a "timely" fashion for all of us to reap the benefits.  Until then, we have to wait an entire summer season until we get our wild char.  Luckily for us though, it's a Nunavut summer.

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