WWF-Canada highlighted in its testimony to the IMO recent reports outlining major gaps in spill response capacity in the Arctic, reported Colchester's Seatrade Maritime News.
Senior specialist, sustainable shipping for WWF-Canada, Andrew Dumbrille, was quoted as saying: "As ship traffic increases in the Arctic, the risk of an environmentally devastating spill becomes more and more real.
The WWF gained notoriety in 2011 when it turned out to be the sole source of a false prediction, at first embraced by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but later withdrawn and declared to be false by the IPCC, that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035.
Today, a more cautious WWF says: "We have an opportunity now to end the use of this toxic substance while levels of ship traffic are still relatively low. In order to give industry time to adapt, WWF encourages the IMO to continue moving this agenda forward, and phase out the use of HFO in Arctic shipping by 2020."
Arctic states - US, Russia, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark/Greenland - have backed the Canadian delegation's submission to the IMO on how to reduce the impacts of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic.
Bunker fuel is already banned in both the Antarctic and in Norwegian Arctic waters.