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The Northwest Passage: International Law, Politics and Cooperation

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Chapter Summary

The Northwest Passage consists of several possible water routes through the Canadian Arctic islands that connect the Beaufort Sea (and through the Bering Strait the Pacific Ocean) and Baffin Bay (in the North Atlantic Ocean). As a result of technological improvements in icebreaking, the commercial interest in moving resources and goods from and through the Arctic and the diminishment of yearround ice-coverage as a result of global climate change, the amount of international commercial shipping activity in the Arctic Ocean is expected to increase and this increase will also be seen in the Northwest Passage. The legal status of the Northwest Passage is usually perceived as a Canadian-US issue primarily because the United States first brought the issue to the fore in 1969-1970 and the United States has, when asked, disagreed with the Canadian view of the Northwest Passage.

Keywords: Arctic Ocean; Beaufort Sea; Canadian Arctic islands; Canadian-US issue; Northwest Passage



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