Shipping routes

With sea-ice melting in the arctic and an ever-increasing demand for commodities like oil, gas and diamonds, ship traffic is expected to increase significantly over the next decades. Since 2009, there has been a gradual increase in the number of ships passing through the arctic sea. The first two ships passed through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in 2009, and in 2013 71 ships passed through. The increase of shipping through the arctic comes with several environmental threats, such as vessel collisions with marine life (see arctic biodiversity), oil or chemical spills, noise pollution and the introduction of non-native species. A study by the Arctic Council (see definition) states that the release of oil into the arctic sea either through accidental release, or illegal discharge, is the most significant threat from shipping activity”. Further ice-melt is expected to make a transpolar North Pole” route completely accessible by around 2050, where more ships are expected to come in, developing off shore extraction.