Arctic Shipping

The Arctic is undergoing extraordinary transformations early in the 21st century. Natural resource development, governance challenges, climate change and marine infrastructure issues are influencing current and future marine uses of the Arctic. The Arctic Council, recognizing these critical changes and issues, at the November 2004 Ministerial meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, called for the Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group to “conduct a comprehensive Arctic marine shipping assessment as outlined under the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan (AMSP) under the guidance of Canada, Finland and the United States as lead countries and in collaboration with the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) working group and the Permanent Participants as relevant.” The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, or The AMSA 2009 Report, is the product of that Arctic Ministerial decision in Reykjavik and was approved at the 2009 Ministerial meeting in Tromsø.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 32
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    Observer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    These FAQs were developed by the USA, Poland, South Korea, and the Northern Forum as co-leads of the PAME project titled “A Framework for More Systematically Engaging with Observers on Shipping Related Matters." These FAQs were formally approved by PAME Heads of Delegation via the SAOprescribed written decision procedure in February 2024.
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    Types of ships in the Arctic
    This report describes the types of ships operating in the Arctic. The data comes from the Arctic Ship Traffic Data (ASTD) and reviews the number of ships in the Arctic, broken down by category. Each category is briefly described with case studies included.
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    Low Sulphur Fuels in the Arctic
    The Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted specific requirements as to the maximum sulphur content of any fuel oil intended for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship. According to Regulation 14 of Annex VI of MARPOL the global sulphur limit was reduced from 3.50% to 0.50% from first of January 2020. For vessels operating in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) under MARPOL, the limit, has been 0.10%, since first of January 2015. As a result of the regulatory developments, the industry responded by offering Low Sulphur Fuels Oil (LSFO – 0.50%) and ULSFO (Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil – 0.10%) for ships that previously used different residual fuel oil blends as fuel, including Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). These developments also led to the joint PAME-EPPR project “New Low Sulphur Fuels, Fate, and Behavior in Cold Water Conditions” which was included in both PAME’s and EPPR’s Work Plans for 2021-2023. The project is led by Norway and contains five work packages (WPs): WP1. Questionnaire WP2. Industry Involvement Workshop WP3. Fuel oil sampling WP4. Fate and behavior WP5. Toxicity testing This is the first report from this project and derives from WP1. A final report for the project will be produced. Experts from Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, USA, China, Germany, Korea, Singapore and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have participated in the project. Additionally, experts from industry have also participated as consultants, including from DNV and SINTEF in Norway.
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    The increase in Arctic Shipping: 2013-2023
    (PAME, 2024-01-31) Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME)
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    Wastewater Practices in the Arctic: Qualitative Insights
    (PAME, 2024-01-15)
    This project and report was initiated to understand current practices for select wastewaters in the Arctic, i.e., scrubber wash water, greywater and sewage.