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Chapter 1 provides the overall structure and framework for Part I of the Polar Code, as well as additional definitions not noted in the introduction, the requirements for the issuance of Polar Ship Certificates and surveys, and the general criteria for determining ship performance standards and operational assessments. These are set out in the text of Chapter 1 below, and in the Part 1B Additional Guidance.


CHAPTER 1 – GENERAL: Full Polar Code text
As adopted from IMO - Full Polar Code text


PAME’s Arctic marine litter expert group is holding a workshop in Akureyri, Iceland, 5-6 June, 2018. We kindly ask you to provide the names of experts for participation from your country to join the workshop in Akureyri.

Click here to register – Please confirm participation by April 9th

The workshop organizers expect Arctic states and permanent participants to join the workshop, in addition to relevant experts, including from Observer states. The workshop will be based around discussions for key aspects, in addition to several short presentations.

Aim of workshop: To facilitate inputs to the development of the desktop study, taking into account new developments and information as relevant.

Draft program outline:

Session I: Opening of the Workshop

  • Overview of the desktop study outline and timeline (co-leads)
  • Introduction of participants

Session II: Main legislative frameworks

  • Status and emerging trends of the legislative framework (Session II author)
  • Opportunities and options to strengthen and/or coordinate relevant legislative frameworks with particular relevance (invited expert)
  • Discussions and inputs from participants including potential recommendations (to feed into Session IV).

 Session III: Marine Litter Literature

  • The growing threat of marine litter (invited expert)
  • Status and emerging trends as per the literature categories (Session III author)

Session III (a): Sources: origin of plastic both within and outside the Arctic (e.g. land-sourced pollution, fisheries, shipping, industry, tourism/recreation...).

  • Sources of marine litter (2 cause studies: e.g. Holland, case study and a PP representative)
  • Discussions and inputs from participants including potential recommendations (to feed into Session IV).

Session III (b): Impacts:

  • Impact of marine litter (invited expert and 1-2 case studies from a PP representative)
  • Discussions and inputs from participants including potential recommendations (to feed into Session IV).

Session III (c): Pathways and distribution:

  • Pathways and distribution of marine litter invited expert and 1-2 case studies from a PP representative)
  • Discussions and inputs from participants including potential recommendations (to feed into Session IV).

Session III (c): Response:

  • Response/cleanup (e.g. Regional actions against marine litter HELCOM, OSPAR, case study from a PP representative)
  • Discussions and inputs from participants including potential recommendations (to feed into Session IV).

Expected outcome:

  • Summary Workshop report
  • Inputs and next steps for the development of the desktop study

Travelling information to Akureyri:

By flight: Via Air Iceland Connect, regular flights multiple times per day. Website:

By bus: Buses travel from Reykjavík to Akureyri daily. Click here to go to the Strætó website.

By car: Driving from Reykjavík to Akureyri takes approximately 4.5 hours.

Hotel information
A block booking of 30 rooms reservation has been made at Hotel KEA in Akureyri. The price is 31.500 ISK/310 USD per night. Breakfast is included. The block booking is only available until April 9th. To book a room please send an email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +354 460 200, using the booking code CON-4793.

Hotel KEA

Other hotels and guesthouses in center of Akureyri:

PAME I-2018 Documents
voyage planning new

This chapter is designed to ensure that the company, master, and crew are provided with sufficient information to enable operations to be conducted with due consideration to the safety of ships and persons on board and, as appropriate, environmental protection. These considerations need to be referenced in the Polar Waters Operational Manual. By way of example, they include but are not limited to Notices to Mariners that are ordinarily contained in government publications. These are set out in the text of Chapter 11 below, and in the Part 1B Additional Guidance.


Full Polar Code text
As adopted from IMO - Full Polar Code text



group photoThe second meeting of the Arctic Council's Arctic Shipping Best Practices Information Forum took place 14-15 May 2018 in London at the Irish Cultural Centre.

The purpose of the Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum is to support effective implementation of the Polar Code by making publicly available on a dedicated web portal, information relevant to all those involved in safe and environmentally sound Arctic shipping, including vessels owners/operators, regulators, classification societies, marine insurers, and indigenous and local communities.

The Forum will place particular emphasis on collecting information of use to maritime administrations and/or Recognized Organizations in issuing Polar Ship Certificates (PSC) and conducting Operational Assessments, as well as information to be used by the shipowners and operators in developing Polar Water Operational Manual (PWOM).

forsida copySummary Report from the 2nd meeting

Evening reception

Meeting photos


Press release
Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum Launches Public Web Portal

List of Participants (May 11th)

Final meeting agenda (May 7th)

Meeting Focus
Click here to download the Meeting focus outline.

See also:

birdThis site includes graphics related to marine litter in the Arctic, produced by PAME or others.

The most visible effect of pollution on marine organisms is the entanglement of wildlife in marine litter. The photo on the right was taken by H. Gladier (

Studies have shown that millions of animals that live in the oceans are debilitated, mutilated and killed by marine litter every year. Marine litter can be transported by ocean currents over long distances, and is found in all marine environments, even in remote areas in the open oceans and the deep sea.

See also Marine Litter Vital Arctic Graphics from GRID-Arendal.

Arctic Marine Litter Graphics
All use is allowed and is encouraged, but please source by providing a link to this site or cite the producer (PAME).

litter beachSource: International Coastal Cleanup Report 2017 (Ocean Conservancy).

Which Plastic Float

Source: GRID-Arendal (Maphoto/Riccardo Pravettoni) - The graphic has been remade by PAME.

Composition of waste 1

Source: What a Waste (2012) - The World Bank.

Figure II: There are a variety of international marine litter-related instruments, including general obligations to protect the marine environment, specific obligations to prevent pollution, and obligations to promote biodiversity. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has recently examined many of those instruments, summarized in the diagram below.

02 LA Policy

Figure III: To complement the information obtained directly from beach surveys, proxies are used to determine the relative contribution of the different sources of marine litter and to provide information on the size and geographical distribution of the drivers or activities leading to the release of man-made materials into the environment.
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Figure III.2: A complete understanding of the input of litter, including microplastics, into the Arctic marine environment needs consideration of the source sectors and the mechanisms of release as well as the pathways by which the debris reaches the marine environment (Figure III.2). If the release occurs in the terrestrial environment, there has to be a pathway or combination of pathways, connecting the point of release with the point of entry into the marine environment. Rivers and other waterways and wind or atmospheric circulation constitute such pathways.

04 LA Pathways V4

Figure III.3: Marine litter, including microplastics, has been observed in all environmental compartments across the Arctic marine environment (Figure III.3 below). Even in some locations distant from hubs of human activity, marine litter abundance is within the same order of magnitude to that of populated areas close to urban centers (Hallanger and Gabrielsen, 2018). It is important to note that the geographic distribution of documented observations of marine litter, including microplastics, is heavily dominated by higher accessibility and increased research activity in the Atlantic Arctic (Norwegian, Greenland and Barents Sea), as well as in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska and their coastal areas. Compositionally speaking, data regarding materials other than plastic is only available for beach and sea-floor surveys, as sea ice, surface waters, water column, and sediment studies have only focused on the concentration of plastic litter and microplastics.

05 LA Distribution

Figure III.5: A schematic synthesis of the different modes of interaction with biota.
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Figure III.6: Plastic in Fumars.

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Other Sources



Plastic pollution reaching record levels in once pristine Arctic (BBC video)
Plastic waste is increasing in the supposedly pristine wilderness of the Arctic.Scientists say almost everywhere they have looked in the Arctic Ocean, they’ve found plastic pollution. In the northern fjords of Norway, one man is on a mission to pick up as much plastic as he can. 

Link to video:
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