The project collects a wide range of historical information, including ship tracks by ship type, information on number of ships in over 60 ports/communities across the Arctic, detailed measurements on emissions by ships, shipping activity in specific areas (e.g. the EEZ's, Arctic LME's and the Polar Code area), and fuel consumption by ships.
PAME and the Arctic Council will use the data from the system to conduct analyses and develop projects that will benefit many different projects across working groups. Participant countries, currently seven of the eight Arctic States, will have access for their own research and analysis, while Permanent Participants, Arctic Council Observers and other subsidiary bodies can gain access to the system upon request. Each user is designated access via a username and password and can download the data for their own analysis. Users are also provided with the ability to add their own data to the system, including shapefiles, to display in the database - read more here about who can gain access and how.
This project is a significant step by PAME to reduce the knowledge gap of circumpolar ship traffic in the Arctic. With changes in the Arctic sea ice extent and projected changes and increase in shipping in the Arctic, the database will allow the Arctic Council to be at the forefront of monitoring trends and assessing any changes for use in its studies, assessments, analyses, and the development of recommendations that enhance Arctic marine safety and support protection of Arctic people and the environment.
The project seeks to further the work of the shipping database developed in 2005 for the release of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Report (AMSA 2009), albeit with the application of more advanced technology for data collection and presentation.
Moreover, this project has the same goal, but will look to secure sustainability by collecting and providing ongoing historical shipping data, rather than collecting information for a given year like the 2005 AMSA database did.