Marine Mammal Monitoring

At Aeria, we take pride in our role as subcontractors dedicated to this crucial mission. Our primary responsibility revolves around the meticulous collection and organization of behavioral data concerning narwhals, particularly during the shipping season when these majestic creatures aggregate in these northern waters. Our comprehensive involvement includes the preparation of Special Flight Operation Certificates (SFOCs), rigorous testing of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), the systematic collection of data, meticulous organization of aerial data (along with associated flight paths), and effective communication with the dedicated biology and statistical teams. Over the course of four years, our collaboration on this project has presented us with an array of unique challenges, each of which we have tackled with unwavering dedication. In our inaugural year, we were tasked with developing methodologies tailored to the specific data requirements and environmental constraints of this project. Years two and three saw us exploring and implementing cutting-edge technologies and techniques to enhance our data collection, including the measurement of morphological characteristics and individual identification. Year four introduced a formidable adversary—extreme weather conditions. These conditions tested the mettle of our operators and RPAS systems. However, they also served as a catalyst for us to delve deeper into advanced weather capabilities, ensuring that we are better prepared for such challenges in the years to come. This project is not for the faint of heart. Our team finds themselves spending weeks at a time in remote and often harsh locations, where they must navigate and operate in unpredictable weather conditions. Yet, we consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to such a vital endeavor, and we eagerly anticipate many more years of collaboration in our pursuit of safeguarding narwhals and the delicate Arctic ecosystem.

In Canada, Environmental Impact Assessments are a mandatory requirement whenever industrial activities pose potential risks to the local ecology. One such critical endeavor involves monitoring the potential impact of shipping activities on narwhals in Canada's Arctic region.