The impacts of normal operations cannot be eliminated, but they can be managed in space and time to minimize effects on culture and environment. Accidents, however, have the potential to cause the most widespread impacts of any of the threats posed by shipping. The record from the nearby Aleutian Islands  suggests that over time one or more spills may be close to inevitable. Increasing tug, salvage and spill response capabilities
in the Bering Strait and PLX3397 chemical structure Northwest Arctic should be considered, especially during peak vessel traffic periods. Such capacity could also aid in search and rescue if needed. Local training in emergency response could also Selleckchem Carfilzomib enhance the region׳s ability to respond promptly while other assets are en route. Identifying risks and associated regulatory measures is a first step, but taking action will depend also on effective governance of vessel traffic at local, national, and international levels. Bering Strait region communities
will need to develop the technical and human capacity to work effectively with mariners and regulators, to identify community needs and priorities and to implement measures such as local use of AIS and communication systems. National governments will need to continue to develop appropriate regulatory frameworks, including local outreach and involvement as well as standards that are consistent with other such efforts in Arctic waters. Internationally, cooperation between the U.S. and Russia would be a big step forward and would pave the way for recognition of Farnesyltransferase appropriate measures by the IMO. In this light, Table 2 outlines the progression from voluntary recommendations to domestic and international regulations. While voluntary recommendations may not be enforceable, they can also be made more quickly than formal regulations, compliance may be high, and they are a significant step towards formal regulations. Formal regulations are likely to take longer to develop and implement, but carry extra
weight. Both approaches have a role in a system of effective governance for vessel traffic. In summary, vessel traffic in the Bering Strait region is an economic opportunity, and also an opportunity for sound management of environmental and cultural risks. This paper presents a framework for various actions that can be taken locally, nationally, and internationally to reduce risks from vessel traffic, consistent with the principle of freedom of the seas as well as with responsible standards of care for vessel operations in areas. Acknowledging the risks and taking appropriate action proactively can help vessel traffic proceed without hindrance, while also protecting an important ecosystem and the cultures that depend on it, while both remain vibrant and healthy.