Boundaries, Biodiversity, Resources, and Increasing Maritime Activities: Emerging Oceans Governance Challenges for Canada in the Arctic Ocean

Clive Schofield, Tavis Potts, Ian Townsend-Gault

Research output: Article


This paper explores recent developments in the Arctic region, notably in terms of environmental changes. The paper then examines some of the potential impacts of expanding maritime activities in the Arctic Ocean, particularly the Canadian Arctic. These include the exploitation of both living and non-living marine resources and increasing Arctic navigational opportunities. In this context, it has been suggested that the melting of sea ice will render the Northwest Passage open for navigation for significant parts of the year. A number of myths and misconceptions surrounding these predictions are highlighted. Discussion then turns to the maritime jurisdictional claims of the Arctic States, particularly Canada's claims to baselines around its Arctic archipelago, its position regarding the jurisdictional status of the waters so enclosed, its claims to control over the Passage, and the attitude of other countries to these Canadian claims. Finally, emerging options on Arctic oceans governance are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-55
JournalVermont Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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