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Promoting Safety and Managing Risks in Arctic Marine Transportation: A Best Practices Approach and the Polar Code

[+] Author Affiliations
James Parsons

Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, Canada

Maria Progoulaki

University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece

Paper No. OMAE2014-23271, pp. V010T07A014; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 33rd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 10: Polar and Arctic Science and Technology
  • San Francisco, California, USA, June 8–13, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4556-1
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Currently there are no mandatory, internationally accepted rules written specifically to govern ship operations in Arctic waters. The Arctic is recognized by the IMO Guidelines for Ships Operating in Polar Waters as a significant area for international shipping that requires special attention to crew training and operational procedures. A legally binding Polar Code which should identify and unify the commonalities of what it takes, and what is currently enforced by flag states, to safely operate in all Arctic nation waters, is viewed by many as a sensible way forward. This paper presents a synopsis of the results of a funded research project that aimed to identify best practices currently in place by Arctic ship operators. It also aimed to identify possible new ways in which shipping operations in the Arctic could maximize benefits and reduce risks to all stakeholders. A review of the scientific literature clearly highlighted the chasms of knowledge regarding the impacts of marine related activity in Arctic waters. With respect to a methodological approach, a website search was conducted to look for shipping companies informing that they were involved in Arctic operations. The website search of Arctic shipping companies helped with the creation of a questionnaire aimed at identifying “best practices” currently in place with Arctic shipping operators. The questionnaire was administered electronically. Subsequently, a number of companies, identified from the website search and representing a pan-Arctic sample of operators, were contacted by email to inquire if they were interested in taking part in the online questionnaire.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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