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Linking Science and Community Knowledge in the Arctic: Marine transportation, Low Impact Corridors and Implications for Significant Cultural and Ecological Sites in Arctic Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided $79,920 via the Partnership Fund to a research team led by Dr. Jackie Dawson at the University of Ottawa for a project that engages Arctic youth in mapping data collection to inform management of shipping near coastal communities. Shipping trends in Nunavik and Nunatsiavut from 1990 to 2015 have been analysed to identify traffic densities around case study communities. Youth in Salluit, Nunavik and Nain will be trained in mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) to identify local travel routes; harvesting areas; traditional knowledge of marine hazards; distribution of wildlife; and management recommendations (i.e. no-go and slow-go zones, no anchoring areas,) and this data will help identify Culturally Significant Marine Areas (CSMAs).

A risk analysis of high density/highly significant areas will be possible by overlaying historic shipping data with the CSMA data and DFO scientific findings on Arctic Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs).  This analysis will inform recommendations for shipping corridor placement and management (i.e. suggested voluntary guidelines – temporal and spatial) to reduce ecological and cultural impacts. The research involves the development of a pan-Canadian Arctic data sharing portal and website on the corridors to facilitate collaborative research extensions as well as federal and local decision-making.

Project Number: NCR2017.6
Year: 2017
Partner: University of Ottawa
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jackie Dawson
Eco-region: Arctic

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