Photo by: Karine Nigar Aarskog, UiT
Photo by: Karine Nigar Aarskog, UiT

PRESS RELEASE: AEC welcomes two new members from Greece and Nunavut, Canada

Arctic Economic Council Welcomes New Members from Greece and Nunavut, Canada

The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) is pleased to welcome Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) and Nunavut Fisheries Association (NFA) from Canada as members to the pan-Arctic business community.

UGS represents Greek-owned vessels under Greek or other European and third country flags. Its members are primarily active in the bulk/tramp sector including LNG carriers and tankers. Shipping is the most important industry in Greece, and Greek-owned vessels were among the first to navigate through the Arctic sea route.

“The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), being the international institutional representative of the largest ship owning nation in the world, acknowledges the important work of the Arctic Economic Council in respect of promoting a comprehensive and holistic approach to the issues affecting the Arctic region. The UGS is especially keen to contribute to this holistic approach by offering its vast experience and deep knowledge in ship operation and navigation in the Arctic policy discussions, always with a view to ensuring the safety of life at sea and the protection of the environment as absolute priorities”, Mr. Theodore E. Veniamis, President of the UGS, states.

For the AEC, both new members provide an important addition and new dimension to its work. “As a globally-minded organization, we are delighted to extend the geographic scope of our membership to Greece. Business is international, and the Arctic is not an exemption. Through collaboration and active engagement in a global level, we hope to facilitate the sustainable economic development of the Arctic”, states Mr. Tero Vauraste, the Chair of the AEC.

Nunavut Fisheries Association (NFA) is a not for profit corporation established to present a united voice for Nunavut’s commercial fishing industry to stakeholders and the public at the territorial and federal levels. NFA also supports fisheries and ecosystem science and research activities in the Eastern Arctic, working collaboratively with stakeholders and conducting its own annual research program, all in support of sustainable fisheries development in the north.

The NFA’s current membership consists of four Inuit owned companies which hold 100% of the commercial allocations of Greenland halibut (turbot) and shrimp managed through the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.

“Partnership with the AEC is an opportunity for us to further our goals on sustainable resource development, primarily for the benefit of the Inuit of the north and to have an active voice in the future of our territory and the broader arctic region.  We are excited to collaborate and contribute to economic development in the Arctic with other Arctic businesses and nations,” comments Lootie Toomasie, Chair of the Nunavut Fisheries Association.

Mr. Toomasie continues: “NFA is very interested in supporting sustainable Arctic economic and business development and our members are looking forward to joining the AEC Working groups on Investments and Infrastructure and Responsible Resource Development. “

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Nunavut Fisheries Association to the AEC. Indigenous businesses play an important role in the economic development of the region. Through active engagement they can significantly contribute to the work on ensuring responsible business operations in the Arctic. Through the AEC, we can create stronger ties across the pan-Arctic region and globally”, says Mr. Thomas Mack, AEC’s Vice Chair representing the Aleut International Association.