Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Norway agrees to ban fishing at North Pole

Share this article

Norway agrees to ban fishing at North Pole
Broken ice floats in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Greenland. Photo: Nasa
22:41 CEST+02:00
Nations with territory in the Arctic on Thursday agreed to ban unregulated fishing in the rapidly melting international waters around the North Pole.

The agreement signed by the United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark on behalf of Greenland, and Norway prohibits commercial fishing in a 2.8 million square kilometre (1.1 million square mile) area -- five times the size of France -- in the absence of international regulation.

The agreement comes amid fears the waters risk being targeted by commercial operators in future.   

"Commercial fishing in the international part of the Arctic Ocean is not likely in the near future," Norway's ministry of fisheries said in a statement. "But developments must be followed closely and the coastal states therefore agree on establishing a (framework for) research cooperation," it said.

In 2012, more than 2,000 scientists called for an international fisheries agreement to protect the waters, where a number of studies have predicted sea ice could disappear completely over the summer in the coming decades. 

According to estimates cited by the US-based Pew Research Center, 40 percent of the international part of the Arctic Ocean, also known as the Central Arctic Ocean, was ice-free in September 2012 when the ice melted to a record low.

International environmental group Greenpeace said it "welcomed the move as a small step towards Arctic protection but lamented the failure to make the deal permanent."

"It's clear that most of these countries are motivated by resource extraction, not protection, and see the melting of the ice sheet as an opportunity to fish further north," spokeswoman Sophie Allain said.

The Central Arctic Ocean is surrounded by so-called economic zones belonging to the five countries that signed the agreement.  A small part of it is already regulated by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

The Swedish university where students tackle real-world problems

Ranked among the world's best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement