Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research

First Advisor

Fisk, Aaron

Second Advisor

Nelson, Kim

Keywords

Aquatic acoustic disturbance, Arctic Cod, Climate change, Documentary film, Inuit subsistence, Vessel noise

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Due to climate change the high Arctic is experiencing growth in acoustic anthropogenic disturbance that may affect aquatic species, such as Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), and Inuit residents. To our knowledge, no studies have been conducted on this topic and species. Furthermore, there is urgent need for conservation action through much needed collaboration between Inuit and researchers, and an engagement of different audiences, and thus, a documentary film was added to the project as means of communication. Resolute Bay is a small Inuit community located just north of the Northwest Passage, where ships are often visitors in the summer and the bay is a home to Arctic cod, making this the perfect location to address this gap of knowledge and communication. In Chapter 2, we show that Arctic cod was horizontally displaced from its home range and individuals reduced the extent of their habitat use and changed their swimming patterns during vessel presence and movement. In Chapter 3, we describe and put into context the different techniques the film uses to accomplish the set objectives: highlighting the issues facing the Inuit and the arctic ecosystem, the value of Inuit traditional ecological knowledge and need for its incorporation into future studies in the region. Arctic cod spatial distribution and behavioral changes carry consequences for the whole Arctic ecosystem and need to be well understood by scientists as well as by a wide range of audiences to allow for sustainable management and timely conservation action.

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