Maritime Transport in the Arctic After the Introduction of the Polar Code: A Discussion of the New Training Needs

  • Dimitrios DalaklisEmail author
  • Evi Baxevani
Part of the WMU Studies in Maritime Affairs book series (WMUSTUD, volume 7)


Considering that the Arctic’s ice-coverage maintains a downward trend, maritime routes that were previously covered with ice-pacts are—slowly, but steadily—becoming more available for shipping. Additionally, great interest is now openly expressed for the extraction of the natural resources available in the wider region and especially its seabed, another possible task for maritime transport. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has already taken a very significant step to ensure a safer and cleaner shipping industry in the region under discussion through the adoption of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, which strongly promotes maritime safety in these challenging waters. Issues such as uncharted areas, ice that is drifting and harsh environmental conditions are just a few examples of challenges for Arctic shipping. Strengthening the necessary technical infrastructure in order to support the expected increase of maritime traffic in the Arctic routes, with emphasis on facilitating timely response to emergencies and search and rescue (SAR) activities should be added to the equation. Even though there is encouraging institutional progress when it comes to ship building standards and the STCW provisions are continuously improved, due to the current occasional-limited use of polar waters for seaborne trade, there is obviously a lack of crews with the necessary experience. New preparatory training courses, some type of “field” activities, improved simulator capabilities and a new more proactive emergency response procedure that involves cooperation of all Arctic countries are needed to mitigate the high risks.


Arctic shipping Polar Code Maritime safety Training needs STCW 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.World Maritime UniversityMalmöSweden
  2. 2.Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport (STT)University of the AegeanChiosGreece

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