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Icebreaking season 2017-2018 ends in Baltic Sea

According to Arctia, the Finnish state-owned company responsible for operating a Finnish icebreaker fleet, the icebreaking season 2017-2018 in the Baltic Sea ended.
Th season ended with Finnish icebreakers on Friday, May 18, 2018, when the last icebreaker “Kontio” returned to the icebreaker base in Katajanokka, Helsinki.

MSC 99 expected to approve Arctic shipping proposal

Milestone Arctic protections proposed jointly by the US and Russia, to establish three new areas to be avoided in Bering strait and to set up six recommendatory two-way routes and six precautionary areas in the Bering Sea, are anticipated to be approved this week, on the sidelines of IMO’s MSC 99, underway in London.

Novatek creates Arctic shipping company

PAO Novatek announced that it will create a transportation subsidiary called “Maritime Arctic Transport LLC.” The new company will manage and optimize transportation costs, build up the competencies of Arctic navigation and ensure the centralized management of the Arctic fleet.

WWF releases guide to help mariners avoid Arctic wildlife

WWF-Canada released a new guide designed to help mariners in the eastern Arctic identify and avoid marine mammals. The guide recommends what to do in Arctic waters in order not to affect the animals, as well as maps of the most concerning areas. Passing ships can often drive marine mammals away from their usual habitat.

New web tool to help in compliance with Polar Code

A new public web portal has been designed to support implementation of IMO’s Polar Code for ships operating in polar waters, at the second meeting of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Shipping Best Practices Information Forum, on 14-15 May, in London. The portal provides links to authoritative information essential to compliance with the Polar Code.

Arctic drilling has no economic sense, says UN’s ex-climate head

Governments should cease oil exploration in the fragile Arctic environment amid the rising threat of global warming, said Christiana Figueres, who was a former chef of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, when 200 countries signed the Paris agreement back in 2015.

Russian navy to clean up 300 tons of scrap metal from Arctic island

In view of the upcoming summer season, Russia’s Northern Fleet has deployed an ecological platoon to clean up the Arctic from scrap metal and crush oil drums, dumped during the last Cold War. For the fourth consecutive year, the team, comprising 30 men from the military units, will head to the island of Kotelny.

Canada replaces Arctic Pollution Prevention Certificate with Polar Code Certificate

DNV GL informs that Canada stopped its requirement for an Arctic Pollution Prevention Certificate and adopted the Polar Code as from December 2017. For this reason, compliance with the Polar Code is necessary for operators to enter into Canadian polar waters. However, the Polar Code Certificate does not apply to all vessels yet.

Watch: How pilots board onto moving ships in Arctic

The video, published by ViralHog, depicts how a maritime pilot is boarding to a moving ship, near the coast of Hailuoto, Finland, when the harsh Arctic conditions won’t allow pilot boats to sail. The film is reportedly dated on 2 April 2018, as the Ro-Ro cargo ship ‘Tavastland’ headed for the Port of Oulu.

Microplastic concentration sees a record high in Arctic sea ice

Gathering ice samples from five regions throughout Arctic, experts at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, found up to 12,000 microplastic particles per litre of sea ice, which represents higher amount of microplastic in Arctic sea ice than ever before.  

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