Efecan Özcan, Sinan Yirmibeşoğlu & Burcu Özsoy

The Russian Federation has a great advantage in the Arctic Ocean because of its long coastline which also has less sea ice concentration in summer to allow vessels to pass with ease. Due to newly opening polar routes in the Arctic, maritime logistics, port and maritime affairs have become more sensitized for Arctic Council countries. But this increase is coming with various anthropogenic effects on Arctic Environment. Polar Code aims to control, force and advice for ships with many environmental applications to ensure safety. Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) report emphasizes the increase in vessel traffic in the Arctic due to climate change and eight recommendations were made to take steps for Arctic Environment. Also, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) working on the same issue. Nevertheless, the Arctic Environment is still vulnerable to increased maritime activity and many more steps including increasing scientific research will be on the agenda.

As a result of this, this study aims to provide the latest overview of the situation to the regional and international lawmakers for the sustainability of Arctic maritime activities and its environmental effects by the ice-class ships within the scope of the polar code with a statistical approach, using the database of the Russian Northern Sea Route Administration (NSRA). However, the uncertain results of the war between Russia and Ukraine could change the Arctic’s future different from the results of these study.

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