Think tank calls for Arctic cruise ship code of conduct

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The Clipper Adventurer cruise ship is shown in this Canadian Coast Guard handout from Aug. 29, 2010. Cruise ship passengers were stranded in the Arctic for almost two days when the ship hit a rock shelf. Passengers were later rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Canadian Coast Guard)
The Clipper Adventurer cruise ship is shown in this Canadian Coast Guard handout from Aug. 29, 2010. Cruise ship passengers were stranded in the Arctic for almost two days when the ship hit a rock shelf. Passengers were later rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Canadian Coast Guard)

A non-governmental think tank is calling for a rigorous code of conduct for cruise ships and private boats which enter Canadian Arctic waters.

The Centre for International Governance Innovation has released a policy report based on discussions held with various groups in Iqaluit, the capital city of Canada’s eastern Arctic Nunavut territory,  in May.

John Higginbotham, a senior fellow with the centre, said more needs to be done to ensure cruise ships are carefully monitored.

“In terms of crew training, in terms of sensitivity to aboriginal cultures, in terms of providing benefits for the small communities in the Arctic that they may call upon when they are traveling among the islands,” he said.

Higginbotham also said there needs to be better planning for cruise tourism in the North to make sure fragile areas are protected.

He also said facilities are needed to deal with emergencies such as oil spills or cruise ship accidents.

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