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Agreement bans high seas commercial fishing in the Arctic

It’s about first international agreement of this magnitude to be concluded before a commercial fishery takes place in a high seas region , says Fisheries and Oceans Canada in a press release.

The agreement signed in 2018 and which comes into force was signed by Canada and in particular Norway, Iceland, Russia, the United States, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the European Union .

According to the press release, the agreement (New window)legally binding ban all commercial fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean until a better understanding of the region’s ecosystems takes place.

We also need measures in place to regulate commercial fishing.

The traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples must also be taken into account before authorizing any release of fish on a commercial scale.

A huge space

The agreement will be in effect for 16 years and renewed every five years. It concerns waters at least 200 kilometers from the coasts of any coastal state, or 2.8 million square kilometers of ocean, which is roughly the size of the Mediterranean Sea.

These Arctic waters were formerly frozen year round, but global warming continues to change the sea and around 40% of this area was accessible to vessels in 2018. While no commercial fishing is currently taking place there, it is fueling the lust of commercial fishermen, as more and more fish are being pushed north by climate change.

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