North/South Consultants Inc. has conducted a number of projects involving the assessment of marine mammals, ranging from analysis of whale and seal stomach contents to the statistical analysis of domestic and commercial beluga whale harvests.
Assessment of Beluga Whale, Seal, and Lake Trout Stomach Contents
Marine Mammal Populations of the Churchill River Estuary
Conducted pre- and post-project surveys and assessments of harbour seal abundance, distribution, and behaviour in the vicinity the Lower Churchill River Water Level Enhancement Weir Project. This project also involved a post-project assessment of beluga whale use of the Churchill River estuary and a comparison of this data with pre-project beluga whale data. The lead person responsible for this work has recently monitored harbour seal movements within the Churchill River Estuary using satellite-linked radio transmitters.
Marine Mammal Responses to Weir Construction
Beluga whale behaviour and harbour seal abundance and behaviour were monitored during construction of the Lower Churchill River Water Level Enhancement Weir Project, to determine the effects of construction-related activities such as blasting and the frequent use of heavy equipment.
Marine Mammal Populations of the Nelson River Estuary
Conducted extensive aerial surveys of beluga whales to assess their distribution in relation to tidal influence and freshwater inputs from the Nelson River.
Inuit Traditional Knowledge of the Distribution and Biology
of High Arctic Narwhal and Beluga
Review of Harvest Statistics for Beluga Whale in Hudson Bay
Conducted a statistical assessment of historic (1930-1990) commercial and domestic beluga whale harvests from western Hudson Bay and compared past harvest trends with current exploitation rates for each western Hudson Bay community in Ontario, Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories. These results were then compared with exploitation and population data for eastern Hudson Bay beluga over the same period of time.
Beluga Whale Review
Compiled literature and stock summaries on Canadian beluga whale populations for use by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in promoting the educational value of beluga whale held in captivity in public aquaria.
Marine Protected Areas
Conducted an assessment of the validity of designating three areas of the Mackenzie Estuary with "Marine Protected Area" status for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. This undertaking involved reviewing ecological characteristics of the areas (e.g., uniqueness, significance, presence of threatened species), current and potential future research opportunities, and potential legislative acts for designating protection to the areas.
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