ARKHANGELSK, May 14. /TASS/. Eight or nine ship’s runs will be needed in 2017 to remove garbage from Franz Josef islands as part of Arctic cleaning campaign, said Sergei Kamyshanov, director general of the Arctic Consulting Service company.
"Sone eight or nine ships will be needed till the winter," he said, adding that his company has a contract liability to remove at least 8,000 tonnes of waste from the Franz Josef archipelago.
According to acting director of the Russian Arctic national park Alexander Kirillov, this year cleaning works will be conducted on four islands, namely Hooker Island, Heiss Island, Graham Bell Island, and Alexandra Land.
"About 100,000 tonnes of waste have been piled in the territory of the Russian Arctic national park. In previous years, about 42,000 tonnes were removed. This year, we plan to overcome the 50-percent threshold," Lev Levit, the Arkhangelsk region’s envoy for the Arctic development, told journalists.
Earlier in the day, the first ship of the 2017 cleaning campaign sailed off from Arkhangelsk for Graham Bell Island. The next ship will be dispatched to Heiss Island in late May. The cost of this year’s works is estimated at 597 million rubles (10.45 million U.S. dollars).
Russia’s ministry of natural resourced launched the program of the Arctic’s environmental rehabilitation in 2010. Franz Josef Land was chosen as a pilot territory. In the period from 2011 to 2015, more than 40,000 tonnes of garbage and waste were removed from Franz Jozef Land and Novaya Zemlya’s northern islands. No works were conducted on Franz Josef Land in 2016.
The Russian Arctic national park is Russia’s northernmost and biggest wildlife reserve. It incorporates the Franz Josef archipelago and Novaya Zemlya’s northern islands.