Jurisdiction and Management of Arctic Marine Transportation


  • William E. Westermeyer
  • Vinod Goyal




Marine transportation, Polar Sea (Ship), Sovereignty, Canadian Arctic Islands waters


Although the United States and Canada have different views regarding jurisdiction over the waters surrounding arctic islands, both countries nevertheless share many concerns about marine transportation in high latitudes. Among these concerns are environmental protection, safety, impacts of development on northern peoples and third party transit of arctic waters. These common concerns suggest that there is much potential for cooperative activity and problem solving in the Arctic. Specific suggestions are made regarding possibilities for coordination of transit management activities. A range of options is presented for both the jurisdiction and management elements of a transit regime for the Arctic. It is the thesis of this article that, despite jurisdictional disagreements, the U.S. and Canada can develop a transit regime that satisfies the interests and concerns of both.

Key words: Arctic, jurisdiction, management, marine transportation, regime