The costs of increased tourism ship traffic in the Canadian Arctic

Unregulated cruise ship and pleasure craft (yacht) tourism traffic has been growing steadily in the Canadian Arctic as a result of changing ice conditions. This response by tourism operators and tourists has raised concerns over the potential for search and rescue capacity to respond to a high-risk incident, such as the sinking of a cruise ship. The grounding of the Akademik Ioffe near Kugaaruk, Nunavut in August 2018 revealed the high costs of search and rescue for even a minor incident involving a tourism vessel. The Canadian Forces spent over $500,000 to provide assistance, while the cost of two icebreakers that also responded were not reported by the Canadian Coast Guard. Investment in improved navigation charts in common shipping routes and insurance requirements to indemnify search and rescue costs have been identified as possible adaptation responses to reduce safety and financial risks.

Read the Full Story