Speed limits on Arctic shipping urged to protect marine mammals
(Randy Boswell/Postmedia News ᔥ canada.com, 16 March 2012) -- Environmentalists and Arctic aboriginal groups are urging speed limits on ships and other rules to protect marine mammals as the Northwest Passage and other polar transportation routes become more heavily travelled in an era of retreating sea ice. The U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society and native organizations, including the Inuit Circumpolar Council, issued a call on Friday for northern countries to acknowledge the rising risks to northern marine creatures resulting from the "rapid increase in shipping in the formerly ice-choked waterways of the Arctic." Of particular concern, the groups stated after a three-day workshop on the issue, is the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska, an ecologically rich but relatively narrow choke point for ships travelling through both the Northern Sea Route north of Russia and the Northwest Passage through Canada's Arctic islands. Among the species at risk from increased shipping are bowhead and beluga whale, walrus, several kinds of seals and the polar bear, the groups said.
Posted 18 March 2012; 1:05:58 AM. Permalink
Tagged: Canada, Circumpolar News, Indigenous Issues, International, March12