On the aftermath of the polar-bear-shot-dead incident by a Hapag-Lloyd guard, AECO reiterated its guidelines for passengers and guards when encountering polar bears, to ensure that wildlife is not disturbed in this extremely fragile environment, as well as ensuring human safety.
Christophe de Margerie, the icebreaking LNG carrier owned and operated by Russian Sovcomflot (SCF Group), has crossed the Northern Sea Route in a new record time for a merchant ship without icebreaker support, during the month of July, the company announced.
The US Congressional Research Service issued an updated report on the Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Program, foreseeing acquisition of up to three new heavy polar icebreakers, as well as plans to acquire up to three new medium polar icebreakers. Construction of the first icebreaker is scheduled to begin in 2019.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coast Survey announced launch of hydrographic expeditions through July and August to discover what lies underneath the water’s surface. Currently only 4.1% of the US maritime Arctic has been charted to modern international navigation standards.
As Hapag-Lloyd Cruises informed, during the weekend, on a trip ashore in Spitsbergen during a Bremen cruise, a polar bear guard was attacked on land by a polar bear. The guard suffered head injuries, however, he was responsive after the attack and was airlifted. However, the polar bear was shot dead.
In its latest Shipping Review, Allianz noted that climate change is impacting ice hazards for shipping, opening new trade routes in some areas, while increasing the risk of ice in others. Arctic ice has been thinning over the past 40 years, bringing new opportunities for shipping, but also environmental concerns.
This summer, Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators is working with cruise operators on identifying how the expedition cruise industry can drastically reduce the use of disposable plastics on ships. AECO will also continue to engage thousands of cruise passengers in beach cleanups in the Arctic.
The Komi Region in Russia and the North-West Strategic Partnership agreed to jointly advance tourism and big industrial projects in the Arctic, in order to improve the region’s potential. According to the agreement, the two parties will synchronize their plans, with plans of neighboring regions and major companies.
Russian natural gas producers Novatek informed that it shipped its first cargo of LNG from the Yamal LNG project to China via the Northern Sea Route on July 19. An official ceremony was held to commemorate the arrival of the LNG tankers ‘Vladimir Rusanov’ and ‘Eduard Toll’ to the Chinese port of Jiangsu Rudong.
The remote location of polar oceans, their vastness and dangerous environment raise significant challenges when gathering data and conducting science. However, advances in technology are providing new opportunities for data collection that go beyond what was possible even 20 years ago.
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