Under changing climatic conditions, political and economic interest in accessing arctic waters and shipping potential is increasing, bringing forward opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed. To explore the practical implications of this from Inuit perspectives, we undertook a community-based case study in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, conducting 20 interviews between 2008 and 2009. We also examined three Nunavut Acts and Agreements, three Canadian Federal Acts, and one International Agreement to better understand the regulations and policy positions. For each we sought to understand characterizations of: community uses of the marine environment; impacts of shipping; and monitoring of ship travel. Our objective was to investigate how well (or not) Inuit experiences and observations of arctic shipping were incorporated into policy provisions governing shipping in arctic waters. A comparative analysis of Inuit and policy positions shows shared and unique priorities as well as areas of apparent disconnect related to shipping in arctic waters. Therefore, this article highlights key considerations for arctic shipping from both practical and policy perspectives. We conclude with recommendations relating to undertaking community consultations, establishing the Marine Council, improving emergency response measures, and updating existing Acts and Agreements in an effort to contribute to ameliorate the situation for mutual benefit.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/1088937X.2012.666768
Journal Polar Geography
Kelley, K.E. (Karen E.), & Ljubicic, G. (2012). Policies and practicalities of shipping in arctic waters: Inuit perspectives from Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Polar Geography, 35(1), 19–49. doi:10.1080/1088937X.2012.666768