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Cooperation in the Arctic: Dividing Up Search and Rescue

Created on June 26, 2014

Cooperation in the Arctic: Dividing Up Search and Rescue

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Read the original report, "Accession to Convention on the Law of the Sea Unnecessary to Advance Arctic Interests," by Steven Groves.

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The 2011 Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic divides the Arctic region into eight sectors and assigns a sector to each of the “Arctic Eight” nations to undertake primary responsibility over search and rescue operations, as shown in the map below. The Arctic search and rescue agreement, along with the International Maritime Organization’s Guidelines for Ships Operating in Arctic Ice-Covered Waters, and other widely accepted treaties such as SOLAS, COLREG, and MARPOL, regulate maritime traffic in the Arctic.

Source: “Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic,” May 12, 2011, http://library.arcticportal.org/1474/1/Arctic_SAR_Agreement_EN_FINAL_for_signature_21-Apr-2011.pdf (accessed February 24, 2014).

MAP 1 • BG 2912

Tags: UNCLOS, United-Nations-Convention-on-the-Law-of-the-Sea, Arctic, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, search and rescue