3 Inuit students help with Arctic whale research

Three Inuit students from Nunavut will be helping out with the largest marine mammal survey ever done in the Arctic.

Survey to look at populations of narwhals, belugas and bowheads

Three Inuit students from Nunavut will be helping out with the largest marine mammal survey ever done in the Arctic.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is leading the project. Researchers will use three planes to fly around Nunavut to count whales.

Karlene Napayok is one of the students taking part in the research. She's a student in the environmental technology program at Arctic College in Iqaluit.

Napayok says the survey will be a great way to build skills and experience.

"Learning how the marine mammals are behaving, and which locations they're mostly at. And learning from the hunters," she said. "We're definitely going to have a hunter involved. And just networking."

Researchers are mostly interested in narwhals, but they'll also look for belugas and bowheads.The goal is to estimate the size and range of the populations, as well as track any changes in the populations that might have been caused by climate change.

The survey will be conducted throughout August.