Circulation is generally anticlockwise; off Greenland, relatively warm, salty water moves north, while along Baffin Island, cold, fresher water originating from the Arctic Ocean flows south. Icebergs, formed by calving off the Greenland glaciers, appear year-round, but are most numerous in August. Extensive coverage by pack ice occurs seasonally from November to July. At the northern end of the bay, Canada's largest polynya, an area of open water surrounded by sea ice, provides an overwintering ground for belugas, WALRUSES and NARWHALS. This polynya, the North Water, is an oasis of biological productivity in the spring and supports immense nesting populations of seabirds, such as thick-billed MURRES and dovekies.
Fishing began in the bay as early as 1650, and by 1900 intensive fishing by Europeans and Americans had depleted the bay's large whale population. Exploitation of other mammals (seals, walrus) as well as fish (cod, halibut, haddock, herring) has been very minimal.
Author ALLYN CLARKE and KEN DRINKWATER
Links to Other Sites
Exploration of the Northwest Passage
An overview of European expeditions to Canada’s northern Arctic region from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. Brief bios, illustrations, maps, and other reference material. An Industry Canada website.
Maps of provinces and territories from "The Atlas of Canada," Natural Resources Canada.
A brief description of the geography and wildlife of the Lancaster Sound region. A Parks Canada website.
Oceans North Canada
This website examines conservation strategies that address the impact of climate change in the Arctic. Programs include identification of marine conservation areas, land claims agreements, fisheries management plans, ecosystem studies, and related initiatives. Features maps and striking photographs of local landscapes.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...