Canada invests in improving safety of Arctic shipping

3 August 2015 (Last Updated August 3rd, 2015 18:30)

The Canadian Government is set to invest $22.7m to enhance the safety of marine transportation in the Arctic.

The Canadian Government is set to invest $22.7m in enhancing the safety of marine transportation in the Arctic.

As part of a five-year plan, the new investment will support the northern economy and remote communities as they depend on marine transport for supplies, fuel, and economic development.

Canada Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said: "The Government of Canada is proud to announce these improvements in marine transportation in the Arctic.

"Our enhanced ability to map Canada’s Arctic waters will result in better charts and navigational information, leading to improved safety for mariners in the north."

"Our enhanced ability to map Canada’s Arctic waters will result in better charts and navigational information, leading to improved safety for mariners in the north."

A recent report released by Tanker Safety Expert Panel revealed that marine traffic in the North is expected to increase in the medium-term.

Moreover, it added that the longer shipping seasons and extended access to the Northwest Passage would promote further traffic growth in the long-term.

The efforts to enhance the safety of Arctic shipping is part of Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship, an initiative that offered new guidelines to support the economic benefits of marine shipping in the Northern region.

As part of the new development, Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service will set up four multibeam sonar systems aboard Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers to increase seafloor surveying.

In addition, the coast guard will increase its auxiliary presence in remote locations to boost its emergency response and search-and-rescue capacity. It will also perform extensive reviews to find better ways of improving Arctic marine navigation services and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Economic Action Plan 2015 also proposed a $34m investment over five years to support meteorological and navigational warning services in the Arctic.