Associated projects

PASSAGES
A Canadian-German Research Project

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Leah Beveridge

Research Assistant

Environmental Change and Developing Vessel Activities in the Beaufort Sea

This study looks at how the information in the literature on the risks and opportunities of developing marine traffic in the Arctic compares to the knowledge and perspectives of those that are currently, or that may become involved in managing future marine-based vessel activities in the Beaufort Sea Region. The purpose is to identify the key concerns and generating a more comprehensive list of opportunities that could be capitalized upon. The methods include a literature review as well as interviews with discussions on two general topics:
    1. Information about and knowledge of vessel traffic and the changes in the environment that will permit an increase in activity

This risks and opportunities from greater vessel traffic in the Beaufort Sea Region will contribute to the risk analyses that will be performed by Dalhousie University researchers. The information gathered will also help to identify current gaps and needs, which will aid Airbus Defence & Space and Fraunhofer FKIE researchers develop a system that can provide solutions. Interacting with stakeholders through interviews helps the PASSAGES team advertise the work they are doing, as well as identify potential users of the final product.

Dr. Mélanie Fournier

Postdoctoral fellow

Shipping companies and Arctic navigation

In collaboration with Pr. Frederic Lasserre - Laval University, Quebec.
Arctic shipping is often described in the media and by several academic analysts as on the verge of a dramatic expansion thanks to the decline of Arctic sea ice.

A preliminary survey, published in 2011, underlined the complexity of the drivers that the shipping industry factors in before entering the Arctic market, suggesting why few companies are interested in the venture. Three years later, another survey attempts to measure the shipping industry's analyses when considering the potential Arctic sea routes, in the frame of a gradual expansion of certain Arctic sea lanes, the Northern Sea Route or the Arctic Bridge, while others, like the Northwest Passage, remain purely hypothetical.

This survey, based on shipping companies' interviews, will help the risks analysis performed within the PASSAGES project framework, by identifying the current trends in terms of shipping and how the shipping companies deal with the risks in the Arctic.

The survey has been conducted from June 2014 until June 2015 by sending via email a short questionnaire to the shipping companies in Asia, Europe and Americas, followed by a phone call in order to gather more information, more descriptions about the positioning of the shipping companies on the Arctic market. We coupled these two methods with a series of observations ensuing from the collection of collateral data (ice-class ships, composition of the fleets…etc.). We dedicated six months (From July 2015 until December 2015) to analyze the replies based on a broad set of keywords and the occurrence of those keywords for each company and question. Most of our questions are open-ended, hence providing qualitative data from which we tried to measure the results from our sample. We then aimed to represent our findings in charts and in a force-directed graph, developed in D3.js. The tool is accessible by clicking on the link below.
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