Canada's Ocean, Freshwater & US

Tarium Niryutait
Location: Coastal Arctic Marine
Approximate Area: 174,955 hectares
Date of Designation: 2010
Conservation Objectives

To conserve and protect the beluga whale population prominent within this MPA, as well as other marine species which are found within Tarium Niryutait.


It is prohibited to carry out activities that disturb, damage, destroy or remove living marine organisms, or any part of their habitats, from these areas.

Why (environmental context for protection)

Located in the Western Arctic Bioregion in the Mackenzie River Delta, Tarium Niryutait was Canada’s first Arctic marine protected area and consists of three sub-regions: Niaqunnaq, Okeevik, and Kittigaryuit. This MPA serves as an important summer habitat for the Eastern Beaufort Sea beluga and a variety of fish species due to the significant freshwater influences from the Mackenzie River estuary and marine influences from the Beaufort Sea. In the summer and fall, fish that travel from the ocean to freshwater voyage from the Mackenzie River to the feeding and rearing areas of Tarium Niryutait. This MPA is visited by thousands of beluga whales as they make their yearly journey to the Mackenzie River estuary.