U.S. and Russia Propose Bering Strait Shipping Routes

As a result of increased shipping traffic in Arctic waters, the international Maritime Organization received a proposal from the United States and the Russian Federation to establish a system of two-way routes for ships to follow through the Bering Sea and Bering Strait.

The proposal includes six two-way routes and six precautionary areas off the coast of Chukotskiy Peninsula and Alaska. The routes are intended to reduce the risk of collisions with other ships, shoals, reefs and islands in the area and assist with better monitoring of ship transit, including in cases of breakdown. The routes also help ships avoid areas of fishing activity and national and international habitat species.

The proposed routes will not be marked in any special way and using the routes would be voluntary for all domestic and international ships.

The proposal and routes can be downloaded here.


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