A sum of NOK 360,000 (approx. $37,000) has been awarded to the Norwegian Coastal Administration and AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) through the Arctic Council’s Emergency, Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) working group
This will contribute towards the launch of NEPTUNE, a project to investigate if expedition cruise vessels can be used in Arctic oil spill preparedness and response, according to a press release.
With more ships in the Arctic, vessels may cover a relatively wide area during the main season and their presence in many areas could represent a resource. In the event of an incident at sea, or on land, expedition cruise vessels may be the first on site and potentially able to act as first responders before larger and professional resources can reach the site.
“We are delighted to have received this grant, as it will help to facilitate a safer future for the fragile Arctic environment in the face of human related incidences such as oil spills. The network of expedition vessels in an area can become a powerful recourse and an important incident management tool,” said Frigg Jørgensen, Executive Director of AECO.