MV Explorer has sunk

MS Explorer (AP)GAP Adventure’s MV Explorer sank in Antarctic waters today after hitting submerged ice. Luckily all passengers and crew were safe. Ironically, it was the first custom-built Antarctic cruise ship, and the first cruise ship to visit the Antarctic. It was also the first cruise ship to navigate the northwest passage without help of an icebreaker.

The accident may have a ripple effect on other antarctic cruises, as people may look for real icebreakers to travel on, rather than ships with ice-strengthened hulls (like the Explorer).

Adventure Canada charters the ship in summer for its arctic expeditions, so it is scrambling to find a new ship for next year’s expeditions.

Protection for Canada’s boreal forest

Canada’s government just announced that it will protect 10.8 million ha of boreal forest in the NWT. That is 2.5 x the size of Holland or Vancouver island:
– 1.5 million hectares designated for a future national wildlife area
along the Mackenzie River near the town of Fort Good Hope under the
Northwest Territories Protected Area Strategy;

– 3.3 million hectares identified for a new national park (2.6 million
acres of new protection) on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake; and

– 6 million hectares of priority lands between the new park and an
existing wildlife refuge to be managed for conservation and
appropriate development by the Akaitcho First Nations under a pending
treaty agreement.

Great news for conservation in Canada.