The Arctic: Emerging Maritime Frontier

By Capt. Jonathan S. Spaner
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Capt. Jonathan S. Spaner

The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, Admiral Bob Papp, Jr. spoke of the Arctic as an emerging frontier during the 2013 State of the Coast Guard Address in February 2013. He said, “… one example of what our future holds can be seen in the emerging frontier of the Arctic, where there is a new ocean appearing. In September 2012, we observed the lowest sea ice extent in recorded history, and there are vast areas of open water where there used to be ice…As the receding ice increasingly gives way to commercial ventures, and human and economic presence increases, so do our responsibilities. We must continue to refine our ability to provide–and then support–a persistent operational presence during periods of increasing human activity and environmental risk.”
The United States is an Arctic nation with significant equities in the future of the region. As with all U.S. waters, the Coast Guard is responsible for ensuring safe, secure, and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic. Our efforts are accomplished in close coordination with federal, state, local, tribal, and international partners to facilitate commerce, manage borders, and improve disaster resilience.

Increasing Traffic in Arctic Waters
The Arctic environment is changing. Satellite observations show decreasing multiyear ice and increasing open water during summer. Coastal villages are experiencing environmental changes that make their communities more prone to storm surges, diminishing permafrost, and coastal erosion. Although winter sea travel is still limited, maritime navigation is becoming more feasible during summer and early autumn. Economic development, in the forms of resource extraction, adventure tourism, and trans-Arctic shipping, are driving much of the current activity in the region.
The Arctic region is believed to contain an estimated 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30 percent of undiscovered gas (pre-shale). Decreasing sea ice and diminishing onshore oil production are creating incentives for exploration offshore. Concurrently, tourism is increasing rapidly in the Arctic. Due to undeveloped landside infrastructure, much of the increased tourism is expected to involve transportation via passenger vessel, which will further increase activity in Arctic waters. Each of these activities carries maritime risk, which must be managed through appropriate maritime governance.
The Arctic region presents numerous operational challenges including extreme weather, limited infrastructure, vast distances, and remote communities. The Coast Guard currently employs mobile command and control platforms such as the National Security Cutter, as well as air and communications capabilities to meet seasonal Arctic infrastructure requirements. Our approach assists in providing border security, environmental protection, community resilience, and other maritime governance priorities.
Overall, activities of economic growth and development are shaping the future of the Arctic. Indeed, there is a new and historic maritime frontier opening right before our eyes, and modern technology and capabilities are helping to ensure deliberate and responsible development. The Coast Guard will remain an important partner in the future of the region.

Strategic Objectives
The Coast Guard published an Arctic Strategy in May 2013. It is focused on three strategic objectives over the coming decade to ensure safe, secure, and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic:

  • improving awareness,
  • modernizing governance, and
  • broadening partnerships.


Improving awareness: Coast Guard operations require precise and ongoing awareness of the maritime domain. Awareness enables threat identification, information sharing with front-line partners, and improved risk management. Improving awareness also requires close collaboration within the Department of Homeland Security, as well as with the Departments of State, Defense, Interior, Commerce, and other stakeholders to enhance integration, innovation, and fielding of emerging technologies.
Modernizing governance: The concept of governance involves institutions, authority structures, and capabilities necessary to provide maritime governance. The Coast Guard will work within its authorities to foster collective efforts, domestically and internationally, and improve governance. In so doing, the Coast Guard will review its own institutions and regimes of governance to prepare for future Arctic missions. This could include efforts such as developing an Arctic Coast Guard Forum in the future to further implement Arctic Council search and rescue and pollution response agreements.
Broadening partnerships: Operating in the Arctic requires a collective effort among stakeholders, which includes domestic regulatory regimes; international collaborative forums such as the Arctic Council, the Inuit Circumpolar Council and the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization; and local engagements in Arctic communities focusing on training and assistance. Success in the Arctic also depends upon close intergovernmental cooperation to support national interests, including working closely within DHS, as well as with the Departments of State and Interior, the National Science Foundation, and other federal, state, local and native partners, as the U.S. prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015. 

On the Horizon
Beyond these three strategic objectives, there are a number of additional factors that will position the Coast Guard for long-term success, including building national awareness of the Arctic region and its opportunities, improving public/private relationships, and identifying requirements and resources to shape outcomes favorably.
Operating in the Arctic is not a new venture for the Coast Guard. However, adapting to changing conditions will require foresight, focus, and clear priorities. It will also require the closest of collaboration with our partners in Alaska. Improving awareness, modernizing governance, and broadening partnerships will best position our service for long-term success.  We have published our strategy and are working on implementation to ensure safe, secure and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the future.
 
Access the Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy document here: http://www.uscg.mil/seniorleadership/DOCS/CG_Arctic_Strategy.pdf



(As published in the January 2014 edition of Marine News - www.marinelink.com)
 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navigation

CMA CGM Rolls out Bengal Bay Express

CMA CGM has introduced its new Bengal Bay Express service, operated with 11 vessels of 6,500 TEU on a weekly basis, in a continuous effort to provide its customers with the best quality service.

The ‘Paperless’ Ship

The cloud is for “device-agnostic young slashers,” said Trond Bjorseth, marketing manager, of Oslo-based cloud consultancy, Tieto. His company offers an information

CNCo Orders Remote Monitoring for 35 Vessels

Radio Holland, a global NavCom and service company in the maritime industry, said it has concluded  a maintenance and remote monitoring agreement with The China

Environmental

Insights: Kunkel Weighs in on Propulsion Technology

LNG? Methanol as fuel? Hybrid systems? Tier 4? Reducing noise? Cutting emissions without crushing fuel economy? Marine News readers have questions and Bob Kunkel has answers.

Safety and Preparation on the Brownwater Radar

Weather Channel Forecasters are predicting a “near-average” hurricane season for 2016, but warn that an average season does not mean businesses and residents shouldn’t prepare for the worst.

Oil Spills from VLOC in Strait of Malacca

Berge Bulk Maritime confirms that an its VLOC (Very Large Ore Carrier)  “BERGE BUREYA” – (IMO/LR # 9297539) operated vessel was involved in an oil spill incident

Energy

Gener8 Maritime Net Income Up 91%

Announcing its financial results today for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 Gener8 Maritime, Inc. reported net income of $38.0 million, or $0.46 basic and diluted earnings per share,

Det Norske to Restore Production at Alvheim after Leak

Norwegian oil firm Det norske said it expected to reach full production at its Alvheim FPSO (floating storage, offloading and producing unit) overnight after a leak,

Enterprise to Export First Ethane Cargo from Houston Terminal in August

Enterprise Products Partners on Thursday said the first ship to load ethane for export from its new terminal on the Houston Ship Channel will arrive on Aug. 1,

Maritime Security

SNMCMG2 Completes Third Black Sea Deployment

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) has completed its third deployment into the Black Sea under the command of Captain Ramazan Kesgin, Turkish Navy.

China, Russia Navies to hold S. China Sea Drills

China and Russia will hold "routine" naval drills in the South China Sea in September, China's defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference on Thursday.

India Buys 4 P-8I Maritime Planes

India has inked a deal with the US defence and aerospace giant Boeing to procure four more Poseidon-8I (P-8I) long-range surveillance and anti-submarine warfare

Coast Guard

Safety and Preparation on the Brownwater Radar

Weather Channel Forecasters are predicting a “near-average” hurricane season for 2016, but warn that an average season does not mean businesses and residents shouldn’t prepare for the worst.

Alaska Juris Sinks, 46 People Rescued

The Fishing Company of Alaska, based in Renton, owns the  238-foot  Alaska Juris that started sinking in the Bering Sea shortly before noon on Tuesday, says a report in Seattle Times.

Sunken Barge Impedes Waterway Traffic Near Galveston

A barge sank east of the Galveston Causeway railroad bridge Tuesday, causing the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a safety zone and temporarily restrict traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Maritime Safety

Crew Kidnapping Rising in Gulf of Guinea - Dryad

In contrast to the substantial numbers of reported incidents across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean in recent years, maritime crime now appears to have stabilised

Safety and Preparation on the Brownwater Radar

Weather Channel Forecasters are predicting a “near-average” hurricane season for 2016, but warn that an average season does not mean businesses and residents shouldn’t prepare for the worst.

China, Russia Navies to hold S. China Sea Drills

China and Russia will hold "routine" naval drills in the South China Sea in September, China's defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference on Thursday.

Arctic Operations

Keel Laying for Russia's Second Nuclear Icebreaker

Today the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg (part of United Shipbuilding Corporation) laid the keel of Ural, Project 22220’s second series-produced nuclear icebreaker.

Canada Embarks on Arctic Survey Mission

Canada has launched its 2016 Arctic expedition to collect important scientific information to support the nation’s submission on the extended continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.

Eni Cancels Vessel Deal with Viking Supply Ships

Viking Supply Ships A/S (VSS) has received an early termination notice of the contract for the Ice-class 1A AHTS “Njord Viking”. The vessel has been working for

 
 
Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1124 sec (9 req/sec)