Copenhagen-based shipping body BIMCO has updated and expanded its online database on ice information. Foremost, the web-resource reflects the recently amended Polar Code and the subsequently revised national rules, which regulates navigation in arctic waters.
“A lot of national regulations have been changed to reflect the revisions to the international Polar Code that went into force in 2017. The guidance provided by the individual Arctic states applicable to their regions is now referenced in the ice information available on the BIMCO website, said Peter Lundahl Rasmussen, Head of Maritime Information.
BIMCO has also co-published an ice information handbook in 2019 to further expand its service on ice management (Ice Navigation and Seamanship Handbook). The website has been updated to incorporate some of the information available in the book and is now a more comprehensive resource of ice information available for members.
“The intention is to guide members as to where to find the crucial, up-to-date information required to plan a route in Arctic waters and to make sure that the website and the ice information handbook are aligned,” Rasmussen said.
Understanding ice conditions is vital from a safety perspective, but also when it involves chartering operations where having an accurate perspective on the difficulties of navigating in ice is important for voyage planning.
BIMCO is also keeping an eye on future developments in the field, for example the Copernicus Programme under the European Space Agency (ESA). The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter Mission would use satellites to monitor sea-ice thickness, among other things, which will be valuable information for the maritime industry.
The Ice Navigation and Seamanship Handbook is written, published and sold in collaboration with Witherby Publishing Group.