Corals and sponges in the Davis Strait
Sun over ice
Although the exact impact of climate change on Baffin Bay’s ecosystem is impossible to predict, already scientists tell us:
- Melting ice has allowed the first migration of Pacific plankton into Baffin Bay in 800,000 years.
- Increased killer whale use of northern waters likely means increased predation on Baffin Bay bowhead whales.
- Narwhal could suffer if there is a significant loss of sea ice in Baffin Bay because it is likely the Arctic marine mammal most sensitive to climate change.
- Warming water and increased fishing pressure could lead to a decrease in cold water Arctic species such as char and turbot and contribute to population swings of shrimp and cod.
The federal government assigns the turbot and shrimp quota to Baffin Island communities and manages the fishery under a plan developed with the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, a public governance body established by land claims. But without local ports, most of these communities have combined their allocations and leased them to the Baffin Fisheries Coalition that uses a Nunavut-owned trawler based in Iceland.