The Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) launched a comprehensive Arctic shipping activity database on February 7, 2019.
The launch is a significant milestone in PAME’s work to improve knowledge of historical Arctic ship traffic activity and various factors that affect such activity, such as sea ice extent, meteorological and oceanographic conditions, and international regulations. The database will allow authorized users to analyze vessel traffic patterns, fuel use, and air emissions, among other economic and environmental conditions.
The database includes archived information from 2005 to 2018 and will be updated regularly. Information contained in the ASTD database includes:
• Number of ships in the Arctic, distances sailed, and hours operated
• Location of ships, ship routes, and ship speed
• Ship types, including size and flag
• Pollution measurements from ships, including CO2 emissions
• Other environmental information such as sea ice extent
Access to the database, which may be used only for non-commercial purposes, is available to all Arctic Council members, accredited academic institutions, and other recognized research entities.
An example of a product made using data from the ASTD database - an analysis of ships in the Polar Code Area in 2017 - can be seen here.
Comment by PAME Chair Renée Sauvé:
“When PAME released the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Report in 2009, it contained data on Arctic shipping activities that had been collected by asking Arctic nations to fill in an Excel spreadsheet. Now, we are able to use satellites to gather information on shipping traffic in the Arctic. I am confident that the ASTD database will benefit PAME, the Arctic Council, and others by providing an invaluable tool to support a wide range of reports and analyses. The ASTD will increasingly be pivotal as we seek to better understand the growth of Arctic ship traffic in the years to come.”
For more information, visit the website.