Arctic

Large increase of ships transiting Canada’s marine waters in Northwest Passage

  More and more vessels are passing through Canada’s marine waters in the Northwest Passage (NWP), according to a report published by the Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME). From 2013 to 2019, the number of ships sailing in Northwest Passage waters increased by 44 percent, from 112 to 160 …

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Baffinland Iron Mines temporarily suspends operations at Mary River due to COVID-19 outbreak

  Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation has announced the temporary suspension of operations and de-mobilization of all non-essential workers from the Mary River mining site in the Canadian Arctic “until such time as control has been regained over the spread of COVID-19.” “Following the first incident of transmission confirmed at the Mary River Project on May …

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Russia broadens Arctic seabed claim to Canada/Greenland EEZs

    Russia’s claim now covers some 70 percent of the seabed in the central parts of the Arctic Ocean and reaches to Canada and Greenland’s exclusive economic zones. (1) According to a report in Arctic Today newsletter, Russia has formally enlarged its claim to the seabed in the Arctic Ocean all the way to …

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U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker to transit Northwest Passage this summer

  In collaboration with Canada, the U.S. Coast Guard will transit through the Northwest Passage this summer, Adm. Karl L. Schultz announced in his annual address.  “Today, along with Global Affairs Canada, we’re planning a Northwest Passage transit for cutter Healy later this year,” Adm.Schultz disclosed on March 11. The largest icebreaker in the U.S. …

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RSS Sir David Attenborough delivered to LR Class

  The UK’s largest commercial newbuild for over 30 years has been formally presented with LR certification after a four-year-long construction period. Photo: BAS. Britain’s new polar research ship, the RSS Sir David Attenborough has been awarded LR certification after a four-year-long construction period. The vessel was delivered to Natural Environment Research Council and British …

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Russia launches first of two satellites to monitor Arctic climate

  A Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sunday carrying Russia’s first satellite for monitoring the Arctic’s climate, the Roscosmos space agency said.  Video published by the Russian space agency showed the Soyuz blaster launching against grey skies at 0655 GMT, carrying an Arktika-M satellite. Space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin …

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U.S. criticism escalates over impact on Alaska of Canada’s cruise ship ban

  Following initial strong complaints voiced last week by three Alaskan lawmakers and cruise industry representatives, the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington has stepped into the fray over Canada’s decision to extend by one year until February 28, 2022 a COVID-related ban on large cruise ships in Canadian waters. Evoking the major damage to the …

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VT Halter Prepares for construction of polar security cutter

Pascagoula, Miss. – The Polar Security Cutter (PSC) is rapidly progressing through the detailed design phase, and Halter Marine is actively preparing for its construction. In July 2021, Halter Marine will complete upgrades to the launch way area where the PSC will be constructed. The 460-foot icebreaker* is the heaviest vessel per foot of length …

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NEAS ceases Arctic sealift calls at Valleyfield

By Leo Ryan, Editor  Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping (NEAS) has decided to cease its regular calls at the Port of Valleyfield on the St. Lawrence Waterway, ending a relationship of some 20 years, confirmed Jean-Philippe Paquin, General Manager of the port located 70 km southwest of Montreal. Valleyfield has been a key staging ground in …

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Northeast Passage opened 88 days setting new Arctic record

Global Ice Center Weathernews Inc. published its review of Arctic Ocean ice conditions for 2020 and they observed that the Northeast Passage, the Russian side of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), was open for a record 88 days. Sea ice is usually at its peak surface area in February or March of each year, and at …

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