Industry experts convened yesterday, during London International Shipping Week (LISW), for a roundtable discussion on safety and sustainability in the Arctic, held by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). Chaired by Sarah Cornell MIMarEST CSci CMarSci CChem, a Vice President of the Institute, the event brought together specialists from a wide range of fields including marine science, environmental protection, engineering, climatology, shipping, naval architecture, navigation and positioning, law and policy, remote sensing, oceanography, geology and insurance.
Michael Kingston, a Partner at DWF LLP’s Marine Trade and Energy Group who also represents the International Union of Marine Insurance on the IMO correspondence group finalising limitation guidance for operation in ice, commented: “The fact that IMarEST have hosted such an important roundtable discussion in London International Shipping Week demonstrates great leadership on these issues for the benefit of all concerned and for safety of life at sea at this important juncture as the Polar Code comes into effect.”
One of the key issues identified during the discussion was that of the huge gaps in knowledge and data associated with the Arctic region. Long-term, sustained observations of ice, wind, waves, currents and marine life are crucial for shipping and offshore activities to be safe and sustainable. Changing seasonal conditions will also affect risk perception and it is paramount that we look at how to develop reliable information, equipment, training, hydrographic surveys, ice-charting and navigational aids.