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Report sheds light on expansion of Arctic shipping

Author:   Posttime:2024-02-20

THE latest 10-year report from the Arctic Council's Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) underscores a significant surge in shipping activity throughout the Arctic Ocean, reports Ventura California's gCaptain.

Between 2013 and 2023, the Arctic witnessed a nearly 40 per cent rise in the number of vessels traversing its waters, climbing from 1,298 annually to 1,782.

Fishing vessels continue to comprise the largest group of ships, with general cargo ships and bulk carriers following closely behind.

"Several reasons contribute to the increase in Arctic shipping," said PAME project manager Hjalti Hreinsson.

"One of them, and perhaps the most prominent one, is an increase in natural resource extraction. Compared to other marine areas worldwide, there aren't that many ships in the Arctic, and new projects will strongly impact statistics."

The report details traffic from two large resource projects in the Canadian and Russian Arctic.

"The Mary River Mine in Nunavut and the Yamal Gas project have led to increases in shipping in the Arctic Polar Code area. The number of bulk carriers has significantly increased as has the traffic of gas tankers, of which there were almost none in the Polar Code area prior to 2018," said Mr Hreinsson.


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