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 35
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    Arctic Marine Tourism: Project workshop
    In 2020, the project co-leads convened a face to face workshop to advance the project. Here the workshop report is available as are all presentations.
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    Arctic Marine Tourism: Passenger Vessel Trends in the Arctic
    he Arctic Marine Tourism Project: Passenger Vessel Trends in the Arctic Region (2013-2019) (AMTP 2021) expands upon a previous PAME project, the Arctic Marine Tourism Project – Best Practice Guidelines (AMTP 2015). The project comprised of two work packages: Work Package 1 (WP1): Compilation and analysis of data on tourism vessels in the Arctic using PAME's Arctic Ship Traffic Database (ASTD) to better understand recent developments. Work Package 2 (WP2): Summary of existing site-specific guidelines for near-shore and coastal areas of the Arctic visited by passengers of marine tourism vessels and pleasure craft The project report includes the analysis, made by the British Antarctic Survey and further analysed by the PAME Secretariat, graphics, maps and other information, also available below in the project repository. The report also includes a standardized template that could be used for the development of site-specific guidelines aimed at tourists/vessel operators, and tailored towards, inter alia, mitigating safety and environmental risks, encouraging sustainable use, and educating visitors on ecological, cultural, and historical features unique to particular areas. An explanation of the methodology used and the step-by-step approach to be employed is also included. This was done in close collaboration with the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).
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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.