Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced his country’s intention to expand its control over Arctic waters, requiring all cruise ships to register sailings in the area with the Canadian Coast Guard.
Currently, Canada regulates all shipping activity within 100 nautical miles of shore. Harper said he plans to introduce legislation this fall that would change the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act to double that jurisdiction to 200 miles.
“Whether it is the thawing of the Northwest Passage or the suspected resource riches under the Arctic seabed, more and more countries are taking an interest in the waterways of the Canadian Arctic,” Harper said in a written statement. “We will be sending a clear message to the world that our environmental standards and sovereignty are not up for debate – if you are in Canada’s Arctic you will be playing by Canada’s rules.”