Nov 2017 Mariners face a multitude of hazards in the Arctic. The extensive seasonal melting of sea ice, reduction of multi-year ice and increase in first-year ice throughout the Arctic has generated an increase in maritime traffic. To help mitigate some of the risks associated with that increase, the U.S. Coast Guard has partnered with the Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAK) to provide critical navigational safety information to Arctic mariners via digital means. More information can be found at Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation: Arctic Navigational Safety Information System
August 2017 Arctic sea ice melt in the summer is normal but experts say it's thinner now, disappearing earlier and returning later in the fall. Since the first orbital images in 1979, sea ice coverage dropped an average of 34,000 square miles a year. (Aug. 14). See Associated Press video on m.v.Nordica transit with Capt Duke Snider, NI President as Ice Navigator.
June 2017 A new three-year research project, funded by the E.U.’s Horizon 2020 program, has been launched to address safety and efficiency in Arctic ship operations. SEDNA ("Safe maritime operations under extreme conditions: the Arctic case") is a research project that is developing an innovative and integrated risk-based approach to safe Arctic navigation, ship design and operation.
June 2016 IMO have published MSC.1/Circ.1519 "Guidance on Methodologies for assessing operational capabilities and limitations in ice" which addresses the development of methodologies for the assessment of operational limitations in ice which may be referenced on the Polar Ship Certificate and which may form part of information on ship-specific capabilities and limitations included in the PWOM.
This guidance has been issued as "interim guidance" in order to gain experience in its use. It should be reviewed four years after the entry into force of the Polar Code in order to make any necessary amendments based on experience gained.
The Status on Implementation of the AMSA 2009 Reports Recommendations (the 2013 Status Report) represents the second biennial effort, undertaken by the Arctic Council's Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Group, to document progress on recommendations contained within the original Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report (AMSA) over the course of the 2011-2013 reporting period.
The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, or The AMSA 2009 Report is focused on current and future Arctic marine activity. The results of this comprehensive assessment are a
range of key findings linked to the main topics identified. These findings are listed in full throughout The AMSA 2009 Report at the end of each section.
The focus of the AMSA is marine safety and marine environmental protection, which is consistent with the Arctic Council’s mandates of environmental protection and sustainable development.
Based on the findings of the AMSA, recommendations were developed to provide a guide for future action by the Arctic
Council, Arctic states and many others. The AMSA recommendations are presented under three broad, inter-related themes that are fundamental to understanding the AMSA: Enhancing Arctic Marine Safety, Protecting Arctic People and the Environment, and Building Arctic Marine Infrastructure. It is recognized that implementation of these recommendations could come from the Arctic states, industry and/or public-private partnerships.