Project Dashboard


  • NIRB File No:


  • Application No.:


  • Project Type:

    Scientific Research

  • Project Name:

    High Arctic Cetacean Survey 2023

Completed Screening

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Cortney Wheeler
  • 501 University Crescent
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N6 Canada
Primary Contact

A survey of narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales will be conducted in the Canadian high Arctic in August 2023. The last survey of all the narwhal stocks simultaneously occurred in 2013 and since then,there is further research which supports potential movement of narwhals among previously defined summering regions. As a result, surveys of all the stocks within a short period of time is needed. Thesurvey will cover areas previously surveyed for these stocks in 2013, while incorporating information and knowledge from the communities Hunters and Trappers Organizations that was sought during a scoping meeting in January 2020, and satellite telemetry of narwhals from 2012-2018 to determine high-use areas. Surveys will be flown in a DeHavilland Twin Otter (DH-6) equipped with bubble windows and a camera hatch at the rear. Overlapping photographs will be taken along transect lines from an altitude of 610 m (2000 ft). Two camera systems will be installed in the twin otter camera hatch. Each system will consist of a Nikon D850 camera, a Garmin GPS unit and a laptop computer. Geo-referenced images will be saved on the laptop in real time and analyzed for all marine mammal sightings after the survey. This survey will provide updated abundance estimates for all the Canadian Baffin Bay narwhal stocks, Cumberland Sound beluga whales, and Eastern Canada- West Greenland bowhead whales. Updated abundance estimates are needed to ensure sustainable harvests in Nunavut.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • Application screening completed 2023-06-07
  • NOI Issued 2023-06-07
  • SDR Issued 2023-06-06
  • Board voting 2023-06-06
  • Extention to Screening Deadline requested 2023-05-23
  • Technical advisor assigned 2023-05-23
  • Technical advisor assigned 2023-05-23
  • Received Comment submissions from Parties: Notice re comments received 2023-05-17
  • Commenting period 2023-05-17
  • Application screening started 2023-04-19
  • Transboundary
  • Kitikmeot
  • Kivalliq
  • North Baffin
  • South Baffin
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