From an office in downtown Moscow, 15 people will regulate traffic along Russia’s Northern Sea Route.
A decree signed this week by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev marks the formal establishment of the new Northern Sea Route administration. The office, situated far from the route, is to be part of the federal Agency of Sea and River Transport, reports the Barents Observer.
By mid-May, the new structure is to be fully operational.
The establishment of the office comes as shipping along the Russian Arctic route is increasing quickly. In 2012, a total of 46 vessels carrying about 1,3 million tons of goods sailed transit along the route, a major increase from the previous year. The new office is part of a Russian effort to strengthen control over the expanding Arctic shipping. In July 2012, the country adopted a Northern Sea Route Law, which outlines a set of new regulations.
The new Northern Sea Route office will be responsible for the organization of procedures for shipping in the area, including the introduction of security and environmental measures. According to the Ministry of Transport, the office staff will handle applications for sailing along the route and monitor weather, ice and navigation conditions in the area. They will also take an active part in the installation of navigation equipment, provide information services and recommendations about shipping developments. In cases of accidents, the office will harmonize search and rescue operations, as well as environmental cleanup operations.
Source: Barents Observer