Another successful monitoring project in Pond Inlet
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association Community Based Monitoring (CBM) pilot project wrapped up its winter/spring monitoring season with a trip to the floe edge near Pond Inlet.
Project lead, Steven Lonsdale, along with monitors Brad Nutaraq, Jonas Arreak and James Kunuk hunted at the floe edge for two days and collected information on their harvest.
The monitors gathered information on harvested animals through surveys. They compiled data on physical and behavioral observations as well as GPS information to track the distribution and population of the wildlife that people depend on for food.
This year, in addition to GPS recording of each successful hunt and the survey of the health of harvested seals, biometrics were introduced as part of the monitoring. The length, girth, and thickness of fat was measured and recorded.
All this information feeds a geographic information system (GIS), which is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. The data is used to produce monthly map updates and various reports for the benefit of community members. The information can help inform Inuit decisions on policy, advocacy, and management of issues that affect Inuit rights.
The CBM is funded through Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and is designed to monitor the health and well-being of sea mammals that are regularly harvested around Pond Inlet. Entering the third year, the project was started following community concerns with seismic testing and increased shipping.
The winter/spring monitoring season began in November 2018 and finished with floe edge monitoring exercise that ran from June 12-14, 2019. The open water monitoring season will begin as soon as the ice breaks up and continue until the end of October.