Nunavut hunters urge Baffinland mine to stop icebreaking, citing narwhal decline (CBC News North – May 11, 2022)

Nunavut hunters and environmental groups say shipping activity from Baffinland’s Mary River mine is having a real and potentially lasting effect on narwhal numbers in the area.They’re calling on the mining company to, again, alter its shipping plans this year as a precaution.

In a letter to Nunavut regulators last week, the Pond Inlet-based Mittimatalik Hunters & Trappers Organization (HTO) says the abundance of narwhal summering in Eclipse Sound has been in steady decline in recent years and that Baffinland is responsible.

The company agrees that the narwhal numbers are down in Eclipse Sound — but suggests there may be other reasons. Eclipse Sound is a natural waterway through the Arctic Archipelago, northwest of Pond Inlet, and is where narwhals migrate from Baffin Bay each summer. It’s also the route used by ships carrying ore from Baffinland’s port.

Last year, the company agreed to avoid ice breaking in spring to minimize negative impacts on narwhal. That decision was based on “the precautionary principle that is the foundation of our adaptive management plan,” Baffinland’s CEO said in a statement at the time.

For the rest of this article: