Ocean Policy and Management in the Arctic


186 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-919996-30-2




Reviewed by J.G. Reade

J.G. Reade was Librarian of the Dalhousie Ocean Studies Programme, Dalhousie University, Halifax.


This workshop brought together the members of the Arctic Ocean Programme Advisory Committee and other consultants and experts, to discuss the five research topics of the Arctic Resources Committee’s Arctic Ocean Programme: current ocean policy-making in Canada; legal issues affecting Arctic waters; Inuit use of the offshore and coastal areas; marine transportation; and ocean management theory. The workshop added to the above list the topic of Arctic marine science and technology, though only the discussion of this is included in this volume. All other topics are treated in a background paper (plus discussion), which aims “to provide an overview of the issues and concepts important to Arctic Ocean policy making and resource management.”

And providing an overview is very adequately done by most of these papers. “Ocean Policy Making in the Canadian Arctic,” by Hal Mills, takes one through the labyrinth of government departments and committees responsible for administration and legislation in the Arctic and details both existing policy and future policy requirements. “International Legal Issues in Arctic Waters” by Ken Beauchamp is a clear, concise coverage of legal and jurisdictional problems, intended for a non-legal audience.

“Arctic Marine Transportation: A View from the Bridge,” somewhat shorter than the other papers, only mentions briefly the various problems confronting surface and sub-surface transportation in Arctic areas.

Ken Beauchamp’s “Ocean Management: A Theoretical Perspective” makes an important contribution to the topic. (For the development of thought concerning ocean management, readers are referred to Environmental Law of the Sea, edited by Douglas M. Johnston, with whom Beauchamp studied. Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 18, of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 1981.)

A colleague who attended the workshop remembers the sessions as being lively but was disappointed that sufficient coverage was not devoted to a demonstration of why Arctic Ocean management is necessary — the papers and discussion assume that the reader is already familiar with the region and the issues involved.

That point notwithstanding, Ocean Policy and Management in the Arctic serves as a useful guide to the many problems facing politicians, policy-makers, and environmentalists; it provides some of the basis and groundwork for solving these problems.


The Third National Workshop on People, Resources, and the Environment North of 60°, “Ocean Policy and Management in the Arctic,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37681.