Shipping & Monitoring

  • Baffinland begins its shipping activities once certain requirements have been met, which includes no presence of landfast ice along the entire Northern Shipping Route and confirmation that the Pond Inlet floe edge has been closed.
  • For the 2021 shipping season, icebreaking will not be required for vessels transiting towards Milne Port.
  1. The potential for shipping to interfere with local hunting.
  2. The potential for vessels to affect marine mammals.
  3. The potential for shipping activity to harm the health of the marine ecosystem.
  1. Baffinland vessels will not break through landfast ice and will wait for confirmation that the floe edge has been closed before entering Eclipse Sound.
  2. Vessels are to travel as closely as possible to the approved Northern Shipping Route, but may deviate at the beginning of the season for the purposes of avoiding ice. We have a notification system that alerts Baffinland staff if any Baffinland vessels are travelling above the speed limit (maximum of 9 knots) or outside of the approved Northern Shipping Route. An Automatic Identification System (AIS) station is available at the Baffinland office in Pond Inlet.
  3. We have provided additional instructions to ship operators indicating that a maximum of three vessels can be anchored or drifting at Ragged Island at any one time.
  4. Ensure that all Baffinland vessels follow the Standing Instructions to Masters which provides information to vessel captains on speed limits, the shipping route, and anchorage locations.
  5. No grey water, sewage, or ballast water will be discharged in Eclipse Sound by ore carriers. Ballast water is only discharged by ore carriers at Milne Port after compliance testing.
  6. Baffinland will continue to work with community members, Hunters and Trappers Organizations and Hamlets to ensure that all concerns related to shipping activities are considered. Full-time Shipping Monitors will be available in the Baffinland Pond Inlet office to support daily tracking and viewing of vessels passing through Eclipse Sound all the way to Milne Port.

To monitor potential effects from shipping on the marine environment, Baffinland will be running a number of different monitoring programs throughout the shipping season. The marine monitoring programs will:

  1. Measure the effects that the shipping is having on the marine environment.
  2. Assess the accuracy of predictions of effects.
  3. Determine if adaptive mitigation measures need to be developed.
    • Marine Mammal Aerial Surveys: Monitors ringed seal density and distribution during spring, and narwhal abundance and distribution and other marine mammal species in Project area throughout the summer.
    • Bruce Head Shore-based Monitoring: Investigates narwhal response to shipping along the Northern Shipping Route by observing them from the top of Bruce Head.
    • Marine Environmental Effects and Aquatic Invasive Species and Habitat Offset: Monitors water and sediment quality including metals, benthic infauna, epifuna and epiflora, fish abundance and health (focus on Arctic char) including contaminant analysis, and ballast water compliance testing. Implementing Year 2 of 10-year Freight Dock post construction habitat offset monitoring program to assess functionality.
    • Passive Acoustic Monitoring: Monitoring of underwater noise at three (3) locations in early August at Bruce Head, Ragged Island anchorage, and Pond Inlet (Small Craft Harbour Construction) until September. Re-deployment of two (2) recorders at the floe edge to record during 2021 fall shoulder season and 2022 floe edge conditions.
  • Email us at
  • Call 899-1807
  • Follow us on our Shipping Facebook account here for detailed updates on our shipping activities.
  • If you are on the water and have an immediate concern, contact our shipping monitor via VHF radio channel 25.
  • Visit the Baffinland office and speak with our shipping monitor or view vessel tracks in the Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Organization (MHTO) building, 2nd floor.