Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ship crosses Northwest Passage

  • Print

TORONTO -- A Danish-owned coal-laden cargo ship has travelled through the Northwest Passage for the first time and into the history books as the second bulk carrier to navigate the Arctic route.

The Nordic Orion left Vancouver on Sept. 17 carrying 15,000 tonnes of coal. Ed Coll, CEO of Bulk Partners, an operational partner of ship-owner Nordic Bulk Carriers, said Friday the freighter has passed Greenland. He said it is expected to dock in Finland next week after traversing waters once impenetrable with thick ice.

Interest in the Northwest Passage is on the rise as climate change is melting Arctic sea ice, creating open waterways. The melting ice could make it a regular Atlantic-Pacific shipping lane.

"Climate change is advancing more quickly to the point where the Northwest Passage has become a more viable shipping route, roughly 30 years earlier than most scientists estimated it would," said Michael Byers, an international law expert at the University of British Columbia.

"I don't celebrate the opening of the Northwest Passage to shipping because it does raise enormous challenges to Canada and for countries around the world in terms of dealing with climate change and its consequences."

Coll said while the reality of melting ice is somewhat unsettling, it has also opened up a new frontier.

Canada has laid claim over ownership of the passage, but it is joined by Russia, the U.S. and Denmark in drafting claims before a UN commission to extend their undersea boundaries into ice-blocked areas.

The Nordic Orion will not undermine Canada's legal position the Northwest Passage constitutes internal waters, since the ship has registered its voyage with the Canadian Coast Guard, which means it has received Canada's permission. It's been more than four decades since the oil tanker SS Manhattan sailed through the Northwest Passage to test its feasibility as a trade route to deliver Alaskan oil to the U.S. East Coast.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2013 A31

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: God Rest Ye Premier Selinger

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Down the Hatch- A pelican swallows a fresh fish that it caught on the Red River near Lockport, Manitoba. Wednesday morning- May 01, 2013   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Hay bales sit under a rainbow just west of Winnipeg Saturday, September 3, 2011.(John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How will you be spending the holiday season? (select all that apply)

View Results

Ads by Google