Arctic shipping and the noise and environmental pollution left in its wake are driving narwhals and other animals farther away from those who depend on them, reports Yahoo News.
How shipping has affected Inuit Nunangat
Lisa Koperqualuk points to the Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet), a northern Baffin Island hamlet with a population of around 1,500, as an example of how shipping has affected Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland stretching through Russia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland.
Over the past decade, the number of ships has increased in Mittimatalik’s waters. The increase of ships includes shipping vessels transporting iron from the Mary River Mine on Baffin Island 160 kilometres south of the community, as well as cruise and cargo ships, carrying both tourists and supplies to the North. It’s caused narwhals to veer far from their normal migratory routes to escape the noise and environmental pollution of shipping, Koperqualuk said.
Over the past five years, the average number of ships passing through Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) because of the mine is around 71, Peter Akman, head of stakeholder relations and communications, told Canada’s National Observer. However, that number was around 10 ships lower in 2022, as numbers can fluctuate depending on the size of the ships, Akman added.
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Source: Yahoo News