The Norwegian Government has approved a new agreement aimed at preventing unregulated fishing in the international part of the Arctic Ocean.
The Ministry of Trade and Fisheries writes that the agreement will also see the promotion of research on fish stocks in the area.
According to Minister of Fisheries and Seafood, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, this is an important agreement for the future conservation and possible sustainable harvesting of fish stocks in the Arctic Ocean.
“With this agreement, we get a precautionary measure in place before fishing is applicable, so that we avoid the problems we know from other international marine areas where unregulated fishing has established itself,” says Ingebrigtsen.
The Government presented a proposal to the Storting on 6 December 2019 to obtain the Storting’s consent to ratification of the Agreement to prevent unregulated fishing in the international part of the Arctic Ocean of 3 October 2018.
About the agreement:
- Most of the Arctic Ocean lies within the 200-mile zones of the five coastal states. But in the middle of the Arctic Ocean there is an international area. There are now large parts of the year here and there is no commercial fishing. By a reduction in the ice cover in the decades ahead, fishing may become possible.
- The agreement has been negotiated by the five coastal states of the Arctic Ocean, Canada, Denmark / Greenland, Norway, Russia and the United States, and the five long distance players EU, Iceland, Japan, China and South Korea. It establishes regional regulation in line with the UN agreement on fishing on the high seas of 1995 and the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
- The agreement entails an ambition for a joint research and monitoring program to identify and assess the opportunities for sustainable fishing in the future.
- The parties undertake not to allow their own fishermen to fish until international management measures have been adopted. The agreement enters into an existing international framework for states’ rights and obligations on the high seas.