Project Dashboard

Frozen Planet II (149254)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: New
Proponent name: Alexander Thorpe
Company: BBC
Start Date: 2020-02-01
End Date: 2020-03-30
Operation Type: Annual
Project Description:
This project involves filming eider ducks and their predators at polynyas and floe edges on the Belcher Islands during the winter 2020. The filming is for the purposes of a new wildlife television series produced by the BBC called Frozen Planet II which follows animal behaviour in various cold environments across the world. Some of the footage may also be used in an upcoming Apple TV program. The project is working closely with the Arctic Eider society and the Sanikiluaq HTA to organise logistics and local support. The emphasis of the filming will be on capturing the winter ecology of eiders as they spend time resting and feeding in polynyas and at the floe edge as well as predation on the ducks by predators including snowy owls, arctic fox and gyr falcons. The crew will also undertake a small amount of filming with the local community to talk about their unique relationship with the eider duck. At any one time, the filming crew will include 3 people (one director and two cameramen), accompanied by two local guides from Sanikiluaq as well as a fixer. Activities will include filming the ducks and their predators from hides set-up next to the polynyas, using a camera on tripod, a drone and an underwater camera on a pole (operated from above the ice). One of the cameramen may potentially enter the water in a dry suit to set-up the equipment. The crew will travel from Sanikiluaq by snowmobile and Qamotik to the Environment Canada Research cabin where they plan on staying for the duration of the filming. From here they will access nearby polynyas on a daily basis for filming. Most filming will focus on the Agiaraaluk polynyas as the ducks arrive at dusk and depart at dawn, and there is a small chance that the crew will look to visit other polynyas around the Belcher Islands if interesting duck behaviours have been observed at these polynyas, such as entrapments. In this case they may overnight in Sanikiluaq. All 6 people will sleep in the Canada Environment Research Cabin, and an additional tent will be erected outside to serve as a kitchen and communal area. In addition temporary plywood hides will be erected next to the polynyas in order to be able to film the ducks without disturbing them. A small tent will also be erected near the hides to provide a vantage point from which the guides will be able to keep a look out for polar bears. The team are planning to spend 15 days at the cabin before returning to Sanikiluaq for 3 nights to rest change guides as well as part of the filming crew. The team will then return to the cabin for an additional 11 days. The current plan is for the project to run from the 13th of February to the 16th of March, but these dates may still change by a week or so either side. The team will have a small amount of white gas for cooking and gasoline for the snow machines. We have a spill response plan and will have a spill kit with us at all times. Melted snow is used for drinking and washing purposes only. Human waste will be buried in a sump away from all water sources and backfilled before leaving camp. All other waste will be transported back to Sanikiluaq and disposed of properly.
Persons: 6
Days: 33
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
5914 polygon Agiaraaluk Polynyas - main project area
5915 polygon South Island Polynyas - possible other project location
5916 point Narrow passage polynya - possible project location
5917 point Rock passage polynya - possible project location
5918 point Kipalu Polynya - possible project location
5919 point Ullutsatuq Polynya - possible project location
5920 point South Johnson Polynya - possible project location
5921 point South Laddie Polynya - possible project location
5922 point Canada Environment Research cabin - overnighting location
Planning Regions:
Affected Areas and Land Types
Settlement Area
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Winter Access
Winter Access
Licensing Agencies
GN-DOE: Wildlife Observation Licence
QIA: Land Use Licence I
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Type Quantity Size Use
Filming equipment 25 3'2'2' We will bring 2x cameras, 2x tripods, 2x drones, 1x pole cam + additional accessories packed into approximately 25 peli cases.
Snowmobile + Qamutik 3 120in These will be used to transport personnel and kit from the cabin to the polynya.
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Gasoline 3 100 Liters We will use gasoline for the snowmobiles
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
No records found.
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
0.02 melt ice beside cabin
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
To mitigate disturbing wildlife during the project all filming will be done in a non-invasive manner. The purpose of the filming is to capture natural behaviours so cameras will be placed at a distance from the animals where they do not affect the animals' behaviour. Most filming will be undertaken from inside the erected hide. The crew plan on entering the hide before the arrival of the ducks at the polynya and leave after their departure. For underwater filming, a hole will be made in the ice inside the hide and the pole cam submerged through the hole. This set-up has been used successfully in the past by the Arctic Eider Society. Particular care will be taken when flying the drone. The Sanikiluaq HTA have scouted the area to determine the best approache to minimize disturbance. The recommended approach is to take-off and land at a distance from the polynyas and wildlife before approaching at a high altitude where the drone will be unlikely to be noticed and will not disturb wildlife. The drone operator is experienced operating around wildlife in a non-invasive and non-disturbing manner. The filming crew will be accompanied by two local hunters with experience of the area and wildlife as well as a local fixer who has spent many years studying and filming the ducks in a non-invasive manner similar to that used on this project. The filming crew will follow their advice at all times to avoid disturbing the wildlife. There will be a spill response plan for fuel use and the crew will have a spill kit with them at all times. Human waste will be buried in a sump away from all water sources and backfilled before leaving camp. All other waste will be transported back to Sanikiluaq and disposed of properly.
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
Sewage (human waste) 6 people over 3.5 week period N/A Human waste will be buried in a sump away from all water sources and backfilled before leaving camp.
Category: Application form attachment - Other Authorizations
Recieved: 2019-12-02
Originator: Alexander Thorpe
Public Registry ID: 17045
Document Size: 387.58 Kb
Category: Application related document - Conformity Determination Letter
Recieved: 2019-12-09
Originator: Goump Djalogue
Public Registry ID: 17060
Document Size: 230.07 Kb