Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area

Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area (MPA) was officially announced on November 16, 2016.

The Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam (Ung-u-niak-via Ni-kig-e-um) is Canada’s second Arctic MPA designated under the Oceans Act.and is the first marine protected area to have a conservation objective based solely on Indigenous traditional and local knowledge. It is located in Darnley Bay, Northwest Territories covering an area of 2,361 km2, and borders the east coast of the Parry Peninsula, near the community of Paulatuk, in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area (ANMPA) has been identified as an ecologically important area that provides critical habitat for Arctic char, cod, beluga whales, ringed and bearded seals, polar bears, as well as sea birds. In fact, it is home to the only thick billed murre colony in the western Canadian Arctic.


Social Cultural and Economic Overview and Assessment Report

Ecological Overview and Assessment Report

Traditional Knowledge Report

In the open-water season, near shore waters in the ANMPA provide migratory and feeding habitat for Arctic char and other fish species that migrate from the sea to fresh water to spawn. Offshore waters in the ANMPA support a variety of marine invertebrates, fish, marine mammals and birds.

During winter, the sea ice in the ANMPA provides breeding and feeding habitat for polar bears and seals.  Areas of open water within the sea ice (polynyas) offer critical feeding areas and promote aggregations of marine mammals and their prey.

The ANMPA is also culturally important for the Inuvialuit, as it supports subsistence harvesting of Arctic char, beluga, birds and other species by the community of Paulatuk, Northwest Territories (NT). The community also utilizes portions of the ANMPA for travel, education and other traditional activities.

The conservation objectives of the Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam MPA are:

To maintain the integrity of the marine environment offshore of the Cape Parry Migratory Bird Sanctuary so that it is productive and allows for higher trophic level feeding. The MPA will do this by making sure that the Cape Parry polynyas and associated sea-ice habitat, and the role of key prey species (e.g., Arctic Cod), are not disrupted by human activities;

To maintain the habitat to support populations of key species (such as beluga whales, Arctic char, and ringed and bearded seals).

An ANMPA management plan is being developed to guide the day to day management, governance, and monitoring of the ANMPA.  It will also guide reporting on the area. The management plan will describe public education and outreach, enforcement and compliance initiatives, as well as regulatory and non-regulatory measures. The inclusion of regulatory and non-regulatory measures is essential to ensuring the continued support of other legislation, regulations and policies that contribute to the protection of this area.

The management plan will address needs identified by the community of Paulatuk, co-management partners, DFO, additional partners and proponents on aspects related to the governance and the management responsibilities of the area. The plan will also describe and define the roles and responsibilities of the advisory committee that will provide advice to DFO regarding the management of the ANMPA.  This will include guidelines and work plans related to the non-regulatory management components.

The creation of this MPA was a collaborative effort. The Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam Area of Interest Steering Committee was comprised of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Fisheries Joint Management Committee, the Inuvialuit Game Council, the Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Together the committee worked towards the designation of the Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam MPA.

For more information on Conservation Objectives please see:

Identification of Conservation Objectives and Boundary Delineation for the Darnley Bay Area of Interest (Now called Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area).


Scientific research and monitoring, marine tourism and education activities being undertaken in the Anguniaqvia niqiyuam MPA require the submission of an Activity Plan. Click for more information and link to applications,

Activity Plan Applications
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-70939401-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview');