The Canadian Coast Guard has announced its annual Arctic operational season is now underway, one of the earliest starts after months of planning and preparations.
The coast guard is expanding its Arctic season this year and will continue to gradually increase its presence over the next several years, according to a news release.
The annual reopening of the Marine Communication and Traffic Services Centre (MCTS) in Iqaluit took place on May 15, and signals the official start of the season.
One of the main activities for the coast guard’s icebreakers will be assisting the shipping industry.
CCGS Amundsen left Quebec City on May 25 and is providing icebreaking support in Eastern Canada before carrying out the Nunavik Inuit Health Survey, visiting seven coastal communities in Nunavik.
CCGS Henry Larsen is scheduled to leave St. John's and head north to break ice on July 10.
In all, seven coast guard icebreakers will be deployed in 2017 to support operational and program commitments in the Arctic.