Technological Challenges for Sustainable Use of the Arctic Seas

Gudmestad, Ove Tobias (University of Stavanger)


In this paper, we define sustainability as the requirement to manage the available resources such that our average quality of life can be shared by future generations. For this definition to make sense, we must define the qualities of life that are important to us—these are the safety of personnel involved in an activity, the clean, nonpolluted environment, and the safe use of assets for owners and investors; this also includes management of resources and safe operations. The sustainability requirement raises challenges for investments and developments. We must apply technology that is safe to use and that ensures that the environment, in a broad sense, is maintained in a way in which renewable resources are not depleted or damaged by pollution. The sustainable use of the Arctic seas is particularly challenging, as pollution is considered to be more persistent in the Arctic environment than in more temperate areas. Most of the examples in the paper will be taken from the Barents Sea, although general aspects are valid for all Arctic seas.