Shipowners worry ice on Great Lakes will hurt industry

Ice cover on the Great Lakes is seen in an image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging...

Ice cover on the Great Lakes is seen in an image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite at 11:20 EST (16:20 GMT) February 16, 2014. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET

The Canadian Coast Guard isn't doing enough to break up ice on the Great Lakes, the Canadian Shipowners Association says.

The group said the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway has been delayed this year and it's "extremely concerned" the icebreakers "will not be able to create and maintain the routes needed to move key cargo to Canadian and American industries."

The Coast Guard's icebreakers are too old and there aren't enough of them, the group said.

As of Monday, the Great Lakes were 82.8% covered by ice, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Michigan reported.

On Tuesday, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. said it has been forced to postpone its original opening day of vessel transit on the Montreal/Lake Ontario system from March 28 to March 31 due to ice.

The Canadian Coast Guard said on its website it's working hard with its American counterparts to meet the increased demand for icebreaking this spring.


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