Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik January 10, 2013 - 12:32 pm

Thanks to Mother Nature, Inukujak killer whales get a reprieve

Winds change, freeing tapped whales from sea ice


It was a close call in a tight breathing hole.

The killer whales that caught Canada’s attention when they became trapped by sea ice near Inukjuak appear to have found open water.

“Everybody’s celebrating because we have open water and we have no more whales,” said Johnny Williams, the community manager for Inukjuak.

Williams attributes the whales’ good fortune to a shift in the wind and a new moon.

Early this morning when two hunters went down to check on the whales, they found open water in an area that was covered with sea ice last night.

It seems the wind came just in time, as the weather dropped from -11 yesterday to -27 today. With the wind chill, it’s -42.

“If we did not have open water last night, I think it would have been too late for us to go there today because it’s too cold,” Williams said.

The community was prepared to help out this morning. Almost 100 people came out for a meeting last night to discuss the situation.

“We were planning to make the hole bigger, take the ice chips off the area,” he said.

As for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Williams characterizes their response as “very, very poor.”

Kevin Hill is the communication manager for the DFO’s Arctic region. He says the DFO is currently working to locate the pod.

Nunatsiaq News is waiting to hear back from the DFO about its marine mammal rescue policies.




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