Sea traffic in the famed Northwest Passage will soon be monitored by underwater listening devices
to be installed by Canada to bolster its disputed claim over the Arctic.
Canada's military will
start keeping tabs on trespassers -- ships and submarines -- in the region as early as mid-2008, said public broadcaster
The detection technology
is to be installed at Gascoyne Inlet
on Devon Island, near one of the main arteries of the passage that links the Atlantic and Pacific ocean
s, the CBC said
, citing unnamed sources.
Canada is at odds with Russia, Denmark, Norway and the United States over 460,000 square miles of Arctic seabed. Each nation is claiming overlapping sections of the sea floor, believed to hold 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas reserves. All of them, including its allies, deny Ottawa's hold on the Northwest Passage.
Of late, the international rivalry has heated up, with Russia planting
a flag at the North Pole and Canada holding
its largest ever Arctic military exercise in the North in recent months, as melting polar ice caps make the region more accessible to economic activity and shipping.
In July, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced plans to build six to eight Navy ice-breakers, a deep sea port in Nanisivik on Baffin Island and a military winter fighting school in Resolute Bay to firm its claim to the lonely region. [Source: AFP]