Arctic, major fishing nations agree no fishing in Arctic, for now

December 2, 2017
Sea ice is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft in March, 2017, above Greenland, which is among parties to the
Sea ice is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft in March, 2017, above Greenland, which is among parties to the Arctic Ocean commercial fishing moratorium

Arctic and major fishing nations, including China, announced Friday that they have agreed to a moratorium on commercial fishing in Arctic waters before a fishery in the icy region is even feasible.

The far north is warming at nearly twice the global average rate, causing changes in the size and distribution of stocks that may become more attractive to fishers in the medium to long term.

Canadian Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc said Canada, together with the European Union, China, Denmark—for Greenland and the Faroe Islands—Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Russia and the United States agreed "that no will take place in the high seas portion of the central Arctic Ocean while we gain a better understanding of the area's ."

They also agreed that before any fishing takes places, they must establish "appropriate conservation and management measures."

To that end, the parties committed to conducting joint scientific research and monitoring to try to better understand Arctic Ocean ecosystems and whether the region can support in the future.

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, called the legally binding agreement "historic."

"It will fill an important gap in the international ocean governance framework and will safeguard fragile marine ecosystems for future generations," he said.

The agreement in principle must still be ratified by all 10 parties.

Greenpeace, praising the deal, said the moratorium is expected to endure for at least the next 16 years, covering an area of 2.8 million square kilometers (one million square miles).

Explore further: US wants to strengthen agreement to ban Arctic Ocean fishing

Related Stories

Arctic nations bar commercial fishing around North Pole

July 16, 2015

Nations with territory in the Arctic on Thursday agreed to ban unregulated fishing in the rapidly melting international waters around the North Pole, amid fears they could be targeted by commercial operators in future.

Scientists call for Arctic fishing moratorium, rules

April 23, 2012

Scientists on Monday urged Arctic rim nations to set fishing regulations for the Arctic Ocean, and order a moratorium on fishing until stocks are assessed, before trawlers soon start dropping nets in the pristine waters.

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees sniff out strangers and family members

October 23, 2018

Chemical communication is widely used in the animal kingdom to convey social information. For example, animals use olfactory cues to recognize group or family members, or to choose genetically suitable mates. In contrast ...

Birds startled by moving sticks

October 23, 2018

Do animals—like humans—divide the world into things that move and things that don't? Are they surprised if an apparently inanimate object jumps to life?

Breakthrough test screens for all known bacterial infections

October 23, 2018

Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) in the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health have developed the first diagnostic platform that can simultaneously screen for all known human pathogenic ...

Researchers have discovered a new cell structure

October 23, 2018

A new structure in human cells has been discovered by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in collaboration with colleagues in the U.K. The structure is a new type of protein complex that the cell uses to attach ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BackBurner
not rated yet Dec 02, 2017
And the agreement will no doubt serve to maintain prices on fish taken from less dangerous waters.
PTTG
not rated yet Dec 02, 2017
Have you seen the decline in fish stocks? If we had a reliable control on fishing over the past century, instead of the free-for-all we've had, it's reasonable to say that there would be far larger harvests now, and prices would be lower.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.