Baffin Bay Facts

Baffin Bay Facts
Baffin Bay is located between the southwest coast of Greenland and Baffin Island. Ellesmere Island is to the north. Baffin Bay is connected to the Arctic Ocean via Nares Strait and to the Atlantic Ocean via Davis Strait and the Labrador Sea. Most of the year Baffin Bay is covered in ice, icebergs, and floating ice, and is not navigable. In the north near Smith Sound there are 31,000 square miles that open in the summer - this is known as the North Water. Most marine life is located in the North Water of Baffin Bay. Baffin Bay covers an area of 266,000 square miles and has an average depth of 2,825 square feet. The maximum depth is 7,008 feet.
Interesting Baffin Bay Facts:
Baffin Bay's region has been inhabited since roughly 500 B.C., by the Dorset settlers.
Dorset settlers were replaced in 1200 AD by Thule people.
It is believed that the Norse reached Baffin Bay at some point between 900 and 1300.
The first recorded English explorer to enter Baffin Bay was John Davis, who arrived in 1585.
William Baffin was an English explorer and navigator, who was credited with discovering Baffin Bay, which is named after him, along with Baffin Island.
Today there are still a few settlements along the Canadian shoreline of Baffin Bay including the Clyde River settlement with roughly 820 people, the Pond Inlet settlement with roughly 1,315 people, and the Arctic Bay settlement with roughly 690 people.
In 1933 an earthquake hit Baffin Bay with a magnitude of 7.3. This is currently the most powerful earthquake to have hit north of the Arctic Circle and Baffin Bay was the epicenter.
It is estimated that approximately 20,000 beluga whales live in Baffin Bay, three-quarters of which live in the North Water.
Animals known to live in the Baffin Bay region include the polar bear, rorquals, bowhead whales, ringed seals, bearded seals, harp seals, narwhals, and walrus.
In order to preserve the polar bear population, hunting is limited in the Baffin Bay region to only 105 tags per year.
Plants that live on the shores of Baffin Bay include alder, willow, and birch trees, lyme grass, lichens, mosses, and many more for a total of about 400 tree and plant species.
Fish that live in Baffin Bay include Arctic flounder, capelin, four-horned sculpin, and polar cod.
Fish that migrate to Baffin Bay from the Atlantic Ocean include herring, haddock, cod, halibut, and rattail.
Birds that can be found along the shores of Baffin Bay, most of which migrate south each winter include guillemots, Arctic redpoll, gyrfalcon, willow and rock ptarmigan, snowy owls, and little auk.
Ice algae and zooplankton can be found in the North Water of Baffin Bay.
Baffin Bay is also known by other names including Baie de Baffin, Avannaata Imaa, and Saknirutiak.
Due to whaling by Americans and Europeans that began in the 1650s, the population of the whales in the waters of Baffin Bay and its surrounding areas were very depleted by the 1900s.

Related Links:
Seas Facts
Animals Facts