2018 January 16 12:49
In 2017, cargo traffic in the water area of the Northern Sea Route included 9,737,559 t of cargo carried by seagoing vessels (excluding transit ships), 797,191 t of cargo carried by river ships and 194,364 t of transit cargo, press center of Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (Rosmorrechflot) refers to the Northern Sea Route Administration.
In the reporting period NSR Administration issued 662 permits for navigation in the NSR waters including 107 permits provided to vessels sailing under foreign flags. 2 applications were rejected though the permits were obtained by those vessels later.
In order to provide vessels with navigational, hydrographical and hydrometeorological information, NSR Administration issued 78 coastal warnings EAST, 163 coastal warnings WEST, 247 synoptic forecasts and 260 analytical and forecast charts of ice conditions for 4 seas of the Northern Sea Route. Long-term forecasts were also issued to cover challenging areas and points - all in all, there were 8 thirty-day forecasts issued during the year of 2017.
Among rare hydrological and ice processes and phenomena registered in the water area of the Northern Sea Route in 2017 was the absence of shore ice in the Vilkitsky Strait throughout the winter period. In summer, there were numerous icebergs in the strait and at the approaches to it between 95°E and 122° E, which brought additional risks for vessels.
General ice coverage in 2017 was different from that of 2016 with earlier (about half a month) beginning of ice melting and clearing of the water area as well as earlier beginning of ice formation. The process was similar to that of 2015 though the minimum ice coverage (which is usually registered in September) in 2015 was less by 200,000 square kilometers than in 2017.
In 2017, the minimum ice coverage in the Arctic (Northern polar region) – 4.62 million square kilometers – was registered on 12 September. That is the 7th lowest ice coverage throughout the observation period between 1978 and 2017.
“It can be said that general ice conditions in the water area of the Northern Sea Route during the summer navigation season of 2017 were favorable for vessels”, states the NSR Administration.