Central Arctic Ocean: no Commercial Fishing


#Arctic #fishing #climate change

On October 3rd, a landmark legally binding Central Arctic Ocean agreement to ban commercial fishing in part of the Arctic ocean that is being opened up by climate change has been signed by the five Arctic countries (Canada, Norway, Russia, Denmark (for Greenland and the Faroe Islands), and the United States), major fishing nations (Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China, the European Union), and the Inuit Circumpolar Council. The agreement will prevent commercial fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean (an area about the size of the Mediterranean) for at least 16 years, as warming temperatures allow summer navigation across what was previously ice, while scientific research is conducted to learn more about the area's marine life and resources.

The sea ice in Arctic shrank with the global warming. Climate change is also causing major fish stocks including cod and halibut to move further north as lower latitudes warm. There's overfishing in traditional grounds. All of these make Arctic more attractive to commercial activities like commercial fishing in future years. This agreement is unprecedented, and a welcome move towards protection of our pristine and fragile north pole. Hopefully it sets a good precedent for decision makers to consider governance on other commercial activities in Arctic, like oil drilling or new shipping routes cross Arctic.

For more details, please refer to the Guardian report and the Nature report.