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April 12, 2017

Shipping Through Sea Ice: Impacts on Marine Habitats and Best Practices

Publisher(s): World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

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As the result of Arctic climate change and an increase in shipping season length, there is a growing interest in Arctic shipping operations. Sea ice serves as an important habitat for marine mammals, therefore, shipping through sea ice could lead to increased negative interactions with ice-bound marine mammals. The following literature review discusses the impacts of icebreaking on marine mammals and habitats. These impacts include: avoidance of areas where icebreaking is occurring, behavioral and physiological impacts of increased anthropogenic noise, entrapment, habitat destruction and fragmentation, and oil spills.