With climate change and loss of seasonal sea ice, more vessels are operating in the Arctic Ocean, one of the most remote and challenging environments in the world. The Arctic hosts an abundance of marine wildlife—and Indigenous peoples have hunted and fished in these waters for untold generations.
With all that's at stake in the Arctic, it's critical that vessels operate safely and minimize their impacts to the marine environment and the people who live in the region. Write to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and tell them to strengthen navigation and communication requirements for vessels using Arctic waters.
New "e-navigation" or "e-NAV" technologies can provide mariners with relevant, up-to-date navigational, safety and environmental information in real time. These new technologies can improve safety and protect the Arctic marine environment—but only if ships are required to carry and use them.
That's where you come in: Ask the IMO to strengthen e-NAV requirements for vessels that travel in Arctic waters.
Strengthen e-NAV requirements for vessels that travel in Arctic waters
Dear IMO delegates,
I am writing today to ask you to strengthen e-navigation ("e-NAV") requirements for vessels operating in Arctic waters.
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As our global climate changes and Arctic sea ice diminishes, more vessels are operating in the Arctic Ocean—one of the most remote and challenging environments in the world. The Arctic hosts an abundance of marine wildlife, and Indigenous peoples have hunted and fished in these waters for untold generations. Given all that's at stake, it is critical that vessels operating in this maritime region take advantage of the latest communications and navigation technologies.
Unlike most other parts of the world, remote Arctic waters have few navigational aids. Capitalizing on advances in e-NAV can help fill the gap, increasing safety and protecting the marine environment.
Technologies like automatic identification systems (AIS), satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS) and electronic charting have already made a huge impact on maritime navigation and communication. With the right equipment, these systems can do even more to provide mariners with relevant, up-to-date navigational, safety and environmental information in real time. Real-time data could include information about weather, safety hazards, dynamic marine protected areas or presence of marine mammals and regional maritime activity such as presence of Indigenous hunters in small craft.
To realize the full potential of modern e-NAV technologies, IMO should strengthen e-NAV requirements for vessels that travel in Arctic waters. Such vessels should required to carry modern versions of AIS and ECDIS technologies to ensure they can receive navigational safety, navigation and environmental information transmitted by coastal states.