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Keywords:

  • beluga;
  • Delphinapterus leucas;
  • narwhal;
  • Monodon monoceros;
  • vessel noise;
  • underwater noise;
  • disturbance

Abstract: In 1986, we recorded the MV Arctic, CCGS des Groseilliers and MV Lady Franklin during routine icebreaking operations and travel to and from the mine at Nanisivik, Baffin Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. We found that the Arctic generated more high frequency noise than did the other vessels we recorded. Monitoring of vessel noise levels indicated that belugas and, probably, narwhals should be able to detect the high frequency components of Arctic noise at least as far as 25 to 30 km from the source. The ability of whales to detect the MV Arctic at long distances may explain why belugas and narwhals in Lancaster Sound seem to react to ships at longer distances than do other stocks of arctic whales.