Maritime Routes in the Arctic: Examining the Level of Traffic and Port Capabilities along the Northern Sea Route Dimitrios Dalaklis Maritime Safety and Environmental Administration, World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden Evi Baxevani Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport, University of the Aegean, Chios, Greece Introduction Until recently, the Arctic was not considered a promising field for economic activities for a rather self-explanatory reason: dire year-long environmental conditions that, at a minimum, severely hindered or even completely blocked the necessary access and transport connections. It is no coincidence that, for the last couple of decades, when referring to the worldwide volume of mari- time traffic, the total contribution of the Arctic region was (and still remains) rather small;1 the Arctic Ocean was kept virtually isolated by thick multiyear ice, strong winds, and polar darkness. It is true that these adverse weather conditions never prevented military vessels and aircraft from operating in the Arctic. This was due to the important strategic advantages the region offered such as being the perfect hideout - loca tion for submarines able to launch a nuclear strike, or providing the shortest flight path between Russia and the United States of America, which could be 1 United
Ocean Yearbook Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2017
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