Currently, large vessels — including cruise, mining and supply ships — voluntarily register with the Canadian Coast Guard's vessel traffic system in the Arctic, which helps keep track of the ships in case the coast guard has to respond to emergencies.
About 99 per cent of vessels that travel in Arctic waters enroll in the system known as NORDREG. But coast guard officials in the North told CBC News earlier this month that there is no way to be sure that everyone is registering.
A Senate report released in June called for a mandatory ship registration system in Arctic waters, a system that already exists on Canada's Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
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Will this move secure Canada's sovereignty over the Northwest Passage?