WWF calls for better Russian oil shipping rules



Posted on 16 September 2013  | 
Ship near Laptev Sea, Russia.
© Tom Arnbom / WWF-CanadaEnlarge
WWF is asking the Russian government to review its rules for shipping oil through the “Northern Sea Route” in the Russian Arctic. The request forms part of WWF comments on the government’s draft oil spill prevention and clean up order. The draft regulations do not require oil spill prevention and clean up plans from vessels and organizations that transport oil and oil products by water. They also fail to account for the need for special regulations covering icy waters. WWF believes that it is unacceptable.

“If the Northern Sea Route is considered to be a strategic shipping direction, then a quick and full review of the navigation rules is needed”, says Aleksei Knizhnikov, a spokesperson for WWF-Russia.

The call comes a week after a week after the accident involving the tanker “Nordvik”. On the 4th of September the Nordvik was holed after colliding with an ice floe in the Matisen Strait, to the north of the Taimyr Peninsula. One of the most important factors in the accident was extremely poor regulation on the Northern Sea Route. The vessel set off for the Arctic, a region with unpredictable ice conditions, without sufficient ice protection and without escort.

“We must take into account the strictest requirements concerning environment protection, monitoring of ice conditions and methods of punishing violators,” says Knizhnikov. “Otherwise there will be more and more vessels in this area jeopardizing the safety of people and environment in an attempt to maximize profits.”

For more information:
Masha Vinokurova
Media officer, WWF-Russia
mvinokurova@wwf.ru
+7 903 273 6079

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

Ship near Laptev Sea, Russia.
© Tom Arnbom / WWF-Canada Enlarge

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