The large expanse of the Arctic and the many remote parts that are rarely visited by scientists or anybody at all is a challenge for environmental monitoring. Cruise ships are regularly reaching otherwise rarely visited places. Tour guides and passengers can contribute meaningfully to environmental monitoring in the Arctic. Some cruise operators are already participating in environmental monitoring. It may be possible to learn from existing efforts, build on these and extend the participatory monitoring to even more cruises. Cruise expeditions have the potential to support environmental protection efforts by obtaining information that can help scientists conduct conservation research and provide a better basis for management decisions.
In March 2019, NORDECO and NERSC under the INTAROS project and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) facilitated that representatives of cruise operators, citizen science programs, local government and scientists in the Arctic came together in Svalbard to exchange experiences and perspectives on environmental monitoring from expedition cruise ships - and to discuss a pilot program.
The workshop report is now available here.
You can also read a firsthand account from the workshop told as an INTAROS Story here.
22 January 2020