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SAR Canada: Operation Nanook
Shipping News
Written by Federica   
Friday, 15 August 2014 11:49

 Canada Search and Rescue (source: Wikipedia) Canada Search and Rescue (source: Wikipedia)This yearOperation Nanook, the Canadian military’s largest recurring operation in the North, will run from August 20 to 29, and will focus on Search an Rescue (SAR) operations in the waters off the country’s northern coast, and will feature two exercises. 

In the first, a fishing vessel in the Davis Strait will put in a call for assistance, setting into motion a search and rescue mission that will test military responders’ ability to locate, treat and evacuate the injured fishermen – played convincingly by mannequins.

In the second, and more involved, operation a cruise ship in distress will seek to make an unexpected call on Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut and home to 6,700 people. 

Typically, Operation Nanook is a military exercise, aimed at training members of Canada’s armed forces how to fight in the demanding Arctic terrain. With the search and rescue scenario this year, the operation will involve a number of civilian organisations that observers say will add realism – and an extra layer of complexity – to an already life-like situation. 

While that kind of involvement is appreciated, Ilja Leo Lang, a spokesperson for AECO, an industry group representing small-scale Arctic cruise operators, pointed out that search and rescue in the Arctic, no matter how well planned, was a last line of defence.

“This is an important exercise,” he says, “But we need to make sure ships can rescue their own passengers. There are close to no search and rescue facilities in the Arctic, so we prepare for situations in which we get no help.”

Lang underscored that the exercise appeared to be realistic, but he worried that the attention being placed on rescue efforts undermined confidence in the preparations Arctic cruise operators made well before passengers ever step on board.

“As important as planning for an accident is working to prevent one,” he says. “But exercises like these easily give the impression that operators don’t know what they are doing – or that they haven’t done anything to ensure the safety of passengers. That’s absolutely not the case.”

Cruise operators, he says, carry out rigorous risk assessments in order to minimise the chance of an accident. Governments, he says, should do more to help those efforts. One way would be to inform ships of the positions of other vessels in the area that could help – or which could need help – in the event of an accident. 

Marc Jacobsen, a research associate with the Arctic Institutepublished a paper last year that used data from the Danish military’s 2013 search-and-rescue exercise off the coast of western Greenland to theorise what would happen in the event of an accident involving a ship the size of the Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise ship that ran aground in Italy in 2012.

He said he would be eager to see whether the lessons learned during Operation Nanook would be applicable in other regions.

Like others, he underscored that the exercise would provide valuable training, but questioned whether planners had set the degree of difficulty too low.

Source: Arctic Journal.  

OGEL, call for papers
Shipping News
Written by Federica   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 09:08

OIRFP Prirazlomnaya (Photo: OAO Gazprom)OIRFP Prirazlomnaya (Photo: OAO Gazprom)Oil, Gas, and Energy Law Journal invites submissions for a Special Issue on "Emerging issues in Polar Energy Law and Governance" (Guest editor for this special issue is Dr Tina Hunter, Director of the Centre for International Minerals and Energy Law Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland) . 



The Polar areas provide special challenges, opportunities and restrictions regarding the development of energy resources, particularly oil and gas. The potential for enormous untapped energy reserves and the international law challenges of maritime boundaries borders and competing claims of sovereignty will make the Arctic region home to one of the most compelling sets of international legal issues in the 21st Century. The renegotiation of the Madrid Protocol in the Antarctic, which currently prevents mining in the Antarctic regions, combined with similar issues of competing claims of sovereignty, and the overarching Antarctic Treaty Framework means that potential energy resource development Antarctic region will become increasingly controversial and prominent.



OGEL encourages submission of relevant papers, studies, and comments on various aspects of this subject. The focus of this Special Polar Issue is the search for and exploitation of energy resources in the polar regions. In particular it seeks to focus on current and emerging legal frameworks within which energy resources will be developed. However, this special edition also seeks submissions of papers and studies addressing the wider topic of the international legal framework for the polar regions.


A one-page proposal should be submitted by 15 November 2014. Acceptance will be communicated by 1 December 2015.

Papers should be submitted by 15 March 2015 deadline to Dr Tina Hunter as well as a copy to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Read more here



NJF Seminar coming soon
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 09:13

(Photo: Getty Imagies) (Photo: Getty Imagies) NJF Seminar "Reindeer herding and land use management – Nordic perspectives" will take place in Rovaniemi 20-21 October 2014 at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland.

The seminar is organized by the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (RKTL), Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Reindeer Herders' Association, Finland and Sámi Educational Centre in Inari, Finland.

This seminar is second in the line of Nordic reindeer husbandry seminars organised in the framework of NJF (Nordic Association of Agricultural Sciences). The organiser of the seminar is a recently established Reindeer Husbandry Section at the NJF (, promoting research on reindeer husbandry related issues in the Nordic countries.).

The main focus of the meeting is on issues related to reindeer herding and land use questions in the Nordic reindeer herding area.


The aim is to discuss reindeer herding and land use activities at different levels, and to figure out frames not only for sustainable reindeer husbandry but also for sustainable co-management of land use between different interest groups in the Nordic countries, including reindeer herding areas.


Also other topics related to reindeer ecology and welfare and cultural and social questions related to reindeer herding are handled.

Click here to read more about the seminar. Click here to submit the abstract (deadline: 18th of August).

Arctic Council meets in Naryan-Mar
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 09:07

(Logo: Arctic Council) (Logo: Arctic Council)The fourth International Meeting of the Arctic Council Member States took place in Naryan-Mar, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia on August 5-7.


The meeting was the fourth meeting in a row in the northern regions of Russia. Additionally, a visit to Varandey oil port and oil platform Prirazlomnaya was a part of the program. President of the University of the Arctic Lars Kullerud attended the meeting.

In the previous years, the Arctic Council members states have sent their Arctic Ambassadors to the meeting but this year, the high-level representatives were academics from all the other Arctic countries except the United States. In addition, the new Arctic Council observer states, China, South Korea, India and Singapore, sent their representatives to the meeting.


The meeting was hosted by the Russian Federation Security Council's Secretary Nikolay Patrushev.


Source: UArctic

5th IWCSCI call for abstracts
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Monday, 11 August 2014 13:05

(Logo: University of Iceland) (Logo: University of Iceland) V International Workshop on Circumpolar Socio-cultural Issues is to be held in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, on September 25-26, 2014, organized by the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the University of Iceland, under the auspices of the International Association of Circumpolar Sociocultural Issues (IACSI).


September 25th session will be devoted to oral presentations, while September 26th session will include short and long documentary and/or experimental films.

Abstracts must be sent before September 7h, 2014 to: Enrique del Acebo Ibáñez This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Click here for the information on how to submit the abstract.


The presentations, after a peer review process, will be published by March 2015.

The Workshop is free of charge for all who are interested in attending.

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