The early tens saw a growing interest in searching for hydrocarbon deposits in offshore Greenland Waters. Deeper Arctic waters have propagation conditions and a marine mammal fauna different from better-studied temperate or shallow-water regions, and there are therefore many unknowns when it comes to negative impacts on marine mammals when conducting seismic surveys in Greenland. The Greenland Environmental Agency for Mineral Resource Activities (EAMRA) therefore established a rather strict regulation of seismic surveys to protect marine mammals during seismic surveys. The regulation is built on four pillars; 1) an annual application cycle, 2) modeling of noise emissions, 3) time-closure areas for vulnerable species and 3) a requirement of noise monitoring during seismic surveys. In 2012 four seismic surveys were planned for Baffin Bay, Greenland. The surveys were accompanied by three studies to examine the effects on the soundscape and narwhals: 1) Propagation of airgun pulses, 2) aerial surveys to examine narwhal distribution, 3) an interview study with narwhal hunters to examine potential changes to the narwhal hunt. The overall results will be presented at the workshop.


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