Oceans North Canada Applauds New Arctic Shipping Regulations

OTTAWA, Aug. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Oceans North Canada applauds Fisheries Minister Gail Shea for announcing new mandatory ship-tracking rules in Arctic waters to improve pollution control, search-and-rescue and security.

"We commend the government for taking the lead to protect Canada's fragile Arctic waters from the harmful impacts that increased vessel traffic will bring," said Chris Debicki, Nunavut projects director for Oceans North Canada. "These regulations will help Inuit at a time when rapidly melting ice is opening the Arctic Ocean to new industrial expansion, tanker traffic, and cruise ships."

The new regulations which took effect on July 1st have been criticized by the world's largest maritime cargo carriers because they extend pollution-control limits to 200 nautical miles offshore. They require the registration and tracking of all vessels 300 tonnes or more, for tugs with a two-ship weight of 500 tonnes or more, and for any vessel carrying dangerous goods or potential pollutants.

"There is no such thing as the 'right to innocent passage' through the front yard of people living up here," said Trevor Taylor, policy director for Oceans North Canada. "The residents of Arctic communities still depend on these waters for their economic and cultural wellbeing and want to see the ocean protected."

The new regulations put Canada on the forefront of Arctic marine conservation.

"We would like to see the International Maritime Organization adopt and apply Canada's standards to Arctic waters around the globe," Taylor said.

About Oceans North Canada

Oceans North Canada promotes science-and-community-based conservation of Canada's northern seas and the resulting wellbeing of indigenous Arctic peoples.

For more information visit our website: www.oceansnorth.ca

SOURCE OCEANS NORTH

For further information: For further information: Trevor Taylor, (613) 290-4498

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