The Arctic Council Ministers in November 2004 requested that PAME (Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group) conduct a comprehensive Arctic marine shipping assessment (AMSA) with Canada, Finland and the United States as lead countries. The Arctic Council acted because the Arctic sea ice cover is undergoing an unprecedented transformation (sea ice thinning, extent reduction, and a reduction in the area of multi-year ice in the central Arctic Ocean). Sea ice simulations for the 21st century indicate increasing ice-free areas and suggest plausible increases in marine access throughout the Arctic Ocean. AMSA’s initial task will be to conduct an inventory/survey of the Arctic shipping or marine activity; shipping is defined broadly in AMSA to include all possible ship activities and types: tankers, container ships, bulk carriers, fishing vessels, drilling ships, research ships, offshore supply/support vessels, and others. AMSA will assess the current (2004) and future (2020 & 2050) social, economic and environmental impacts of these Arctic marine activities on Arctic communities, large marine ecosystems (LMEs), and all Arctic coastal states. The final AMSA effort will be development of a suite of strategic directions and recommendations from the findings for use by the Arctic Council member states, all Arctic stakeholders, and the global maritime community.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.