This is a list of all AMSA Documents.
Download the AMSA Report.
To Ministers of the Arctic Council2015: Status of implementation
2013: Status of implementation
2011: Status of implementation
To Senior Arctic Officials (SAO's)
Other AMSA Documents
AMSA Progress Reports
AMSA I(D): Cruise Ship Tourism - Strengthening Passenger Ship Safety in Arctic Waters
The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) Report notes that passenger and cruise vessel activity represents a significant proportion of vessel activity in the Arctic and that such activity is growing. The AMSA Report also emphasize the significant management challenges posed by the continued increase in this traffic, including those pertaining to passenger safety needs and protection of the Arctic marine environment from sinkings, groundings, and pollution.
AMSA Report Recommendation I(D) provides that Arctic states should "... and strongly encourage cruise ship operators to develop, implement and share their own best practices for operating in such conditions, including consideration of measures such as timing voyages so that other ships are within rescue distance in case of emergency."
To advance the implementation of this recommendation the PAME Working Group has sought information on cruise industry and Arctic State best practices and standards related to safety and environmental protection in an effort to develop a consolidated summary of best practices for cruise ships operating in the Arctic.
Summary of Information Received as of February 2011
Information in response to the request of Denmark and the USA was received from Norway, the United Kingdom and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and was supplemented by the USA. The information is consolidated below into four categories of standards/guidance.
Environmental Impacts of Expedition Cruise Traffic around Svalbard report by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).
AMSA II(A): Survey of Arctic Indigenous Marine Use
That the Arctic states should consider conducting surveys on Arctic marine use by indigenous communities where gaps are identified to collect information for establishing up-to-date baseline data to assess the impacts from Arctic shipping activities.
- AIA and Saami Council prepared the following scoping paper on this issue for the PAME I-2011 meeting
- AIA and Saami Council provided an update at the PAME II-2011 meeting
The work to identify areas of heightened ecological significance builds on work conducted during the preparation of the AMAP (2007) Arctic Oil and Gas Assessment. Although it was initially intended that the identification of areas of heightened ecological and cultural significance would be addressed in a similar fashion, this proved difficult. The information available on areas of heightened cultural significance was inconsistent across the Arctic and contained gaps in data quality and coverage which could not be addressed within the framework of this assessment.
The areas of heightened cultural significance are therefore addressed within a separate section of the report (Part B) and are not integrated with the information on areas of heightened ecological significance (Part A). In addition, Part B should be seen as instructive in that it illustrates where additional data collection and integration efforts are required, and therefore helps inform future efforts on identification of areas of heightened cultural significance.
The results of this work provide the scientific basis for consideration of protective measures by Arctic states in accordance with AMSA recommendation IIc, including the need for specially designated Arctic marine areas as follow-up to AMSA recommendation IId.
AMSA II(D): Specially Designated Arctic Marine Areas
That the Arctic states should, taking into account the special characteristics of the Arctic marine environment, explore the need for internationally designated areas for the purpose of environmental protection in regions of the Arctic Ocean. This could be done through the use of appropriate tools, such as “Special Areas” or Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) designation through the IMO and consistent with the existing international legal framework in the Arctic.
The Specially Designated Marine Areas in the Arctic High Seas report was released in March 2014. The projects objective was to explore the need for, and as appropriate make recommendations regarding, internationally designated areas in the high seas area of the Arctic Ocean that warrant protection from the risks posed by international shipping activities.
Download Part I:
Deals with the need for protection of the high seas area and presents a description of two main issues;
a) the traffic and risk levels in the Arctic Ocean high seas, present and future, and
b) the vulnerability of the biological resources found in the Area.
Download Part II:
Reviews the available IMO measures suited to protect vulnerable areas, in particular the Special Areas (SA) option and the Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) option.
That the Arctic states decide to support the development of improved practices and innovative technologies for ships in port and at sea to help reduce current and future emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Oxides (SOx) and Particulate Matter (PM), taking into account the relevant IMO regulations.
AMSA II (H): Reducing Air Emissions
Click here for a consolidated bibliography on ship air emissions as per the following record of decision from the PAME I-2015 meeting i.e.: "invites the USA to consolidate the bibliographies of ship air emission publications submitted by Canada, the Kindgom of Denmark, Norway and the USA and to submit it to the Secretariat for posting to the PAME website and forwarding to AMAP."
AMSA III(A): Addressing the infrastructure deficit
That the Arctic states should recognize that improvements in Arctic marine infrastructure are needed to enhance safety and environmental protection in support of sustainable development. Examples of infrastructure where critical improvements are needed include: ice navigation training; navigational charts; communications systems; port services, including reception facilities for ship-generated waste; accurate and timely ice information (ice centers); places of refuge; and icebreakers to assist in response.
As a follow-up to this recommendation a summary of paper on the World Meteorological Organization's Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Scheme has been prepared for PAME by the United States has. All eight Arctic Council member governments participate in the VOS Scheme either directly, by providing ships to the program, or indirectly by providing funding and/or data.
US Report on the VOS Scheme
Translation of AMSA Status Report
The Korean Maritime Institute (KMI) has translated into Korean the 2015 Progress Report on Implementation of the 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) Report Recommendations which is the third biennial effort by the Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment to document and track progress in implementing the 17 recommendations in the AMSA Report approved by Arctic Council Ministers.
This translation contributes to increased awareness and outreach of tracking the progress of Arctic shipping related initiatives within the Arctic Council and demonstrates increased collaborative efforts by PAME with an Arctic Council observer state.
Click here to download the document.
The Korea Maritime Institute (KMI) convened a Communication Seminar on PAME Shipping activities during the Arctic Partnership Week in December 2016. The purpose was to have informal discussions between the PAME Shipping Expert Group and Korean experts/institutes on shipping and environmental protection in the Arctic.
Session 1 included presentations on PAME‘s Arctic Shipping Initiatives. The co-leads of PAME's Shipping Expert Group, Drummond Fraser (Transport Canada) and Peter Oppenheimer (NOAA, USA), presented PAME's work. Leah Bower (Aleut International Association) also presented on the project Arctic Marine Indigenous - Use Mapping - Tools for Communities project.
Session 2 included presentations by Korean representatives, including Jong-Deog (Justin) Kim.
Over 30 participants attended the seminar.
Click here to download the Seminar report.
Background Research DocumentsThe research reports posted here constitute the background research documents completed in support of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009. These reports have neither been reviewed nor endorsed by the Arctic state governments or PAME and, therefore, represent only the views of the various experts and authors that produced them. The reports have served the purpose of providing background information for the lead countries in their work on the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 report, released at the Arctic Ministerial meeting April, 29-30 2009.
In the process of bringing together the AMSA 2009 report, a large body of research was created, including a range of reports resulting from a range of activities including; 13 AMSA workshops, 14 AMSA town hall meetings, the AMSA Data Survey, special reports created by maritime experts, and reviews of AMSA topics drafted by lead and contributing authors. The AMSA background research documents give readers the opportunity to see the more in-depth analysis and research completed by the lead authors and experts in support of the AMSA 2009 report.
In carrying out the AMSA, seven main topic areas were identified which guided the work. An eighth topic is included which is an AMSA Research Needs compilation developed by the AMSA lead and contributing authors. The main topics were identified prior to drafting the AMSA 2009 report and therefore do not correspond directly with the section topics in the AMSA 2009 report. The various research documents presented here are grouped according to the original seven topics. These documents have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Arctic state governments and, therefore, represent only the views of the various experts and authors that produced the reports.
1: Introduction to Arctic Shipping and Geography (missing files)
2: History and Governance of Arctic Shipping
3: Arctic Marine Activity Database (Link opens a new window)
4: Human Dimensions of Arctic Marine Activities
6: Environmental Impacts
8: AMSA Research Agenda