Arctic melting will ‘open new shipping routes'

Men drive a snowmobile, about 70km south-east of the town of Naryan-Mar, in northern Russia. Picture: Reuters

Men drive a snowmobile, about 70km south-east of the town of Naryan-Mar, in northern Russia. Picture: Reuters

Published Nov 22, 2022


The melting of the Arctic will open a new shipping route which will have an impact on the Indian Ocean traffic, an Indian academician said on Monday.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the global nuclear power exhibition-cum-conference held here by Russian company Rosatom, Professor Rudra Prasad Pradhan, of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, said: "If the Arctic melts and the shipping route opens it will cut the cost by 40% for shipping lines."

He said the shipping route would have an impact on traffic in the Indian Ocean.

Pradhan said traffic in the Indian Ocean was a transit route where ships delivered goods to India and moved onwards.

He said there could also be a circular route for the shipping lines if the Arctic opened. India could take advantage of the new themes like Smart Port, Green Shipping and Net Zero.

Speaking at the round table at the nuclear conference on Blue Economy: Government, Business, and Science for a Sustainable Future earlier, Pradhan said India had an Arctic policy and institutional linkages.

Pointing out that “ocean” was called “sagar” in Hindi, Pradhan cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had said “sagar” meant security and growth for all.

Ocean resources contribute to social and economic growth and welfare in many countries, through the industries associated with marine and coastal resources.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates, the global ocean economy generates $1.5 trillion (about R26 trillion) in global value added annually. The figure is expected to double to $3 trillion by 2030.

The ocean economy is becoming increasingly influenced by sea freight, which accounts for more than 80% of global trade.

Ship building, port infrastructure, and other marine-based industries continue to grow.

Nikolai Shabalin, the executive director of Lomonosov Moscow State University Marine Research Centre, said the most of Russia was made up of harsh sea like the Arctic region.

Ekaterina Lyakhova, the director for business development at the State Atomic Energy Corporation, said Russia wanted to connect to the Arctic and other industries like tourism.

The other speakers were Natalia Stapran, the director of the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, Russia's Ministry of Economic Development; Mohamed Ahmed Said, a professor of physical oceanography at the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Egypt; and Jit Singh Wallia, the deputy chief financial officer at DP World.

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