One of the planet’s last pristine ocean habitats has been given a reprieve. Nine nations in concert with the EU have agreed to a 16 year fishing ban in the Arctic Ocean.

The U.S., Russia, China, Canada, Japan, Denmark, Iceland and South Korea, all major fishing countries, joined with the European Union to give scientists time to study the ecosystems of the northern oceans as global warming makes these waters more accessible to fishing.

arctic sea ice Nanaimo News polar ocean ice melt climate change Fishing Ban in the Arctic

Melting ice shelfs are rapidly changing the ecosystems of the polar seas, an area devoid of commercial fisheries at present.

“We are pleased to hear about the research that is set to take place in this largely unexplored and changing ecosystem. The Arctic is fragile and the moratorium on fishing in newly ice-free areas in the Arctic comes at an important time when the pressure on the environment is greater than ever before,” said Rohan Currey, of the Marine Stewardship Council adding “To be able to conduct research while the Arctic is relatively undisturbed is a fantastic opportunity for marine science,” (photo – Nanaimo News)


Marine scientists and conservationists welcomed the news.

“A historic day for the protection of the polar oceans” that “really shows what international collaboration can achieve” said Frida Bengtsson, head of Greenpeace‘s Antarctic Campaign.

Approximately one million square miles of ocean will be off limits with the fishing ban in the arctic and although 16 years sounds like ample time, scientists caution that polar marine research is nothing that can be hurried.


Polar Oceans, “A Different Kettle of Fish”

“In cold, deep waters you typically find organisms that are slower growing, longer lived, and have longer durations before they can reproduce – that means finding a sustainable level of fishing is a different kettle of fish,” said Dr. Chris Yesson with the Zoological Society of London.

russian icebreaker, getty images arctic icepack polar ses Fishing Ban in the Arctic


“This is an important and symbolic step forward for the international waters around the North Pole, but as always the devil will be in the detail. The real success or failure of this agreement will rely on the cooperation of a diverse group of nations,” said Rod Downie of WWF, adding “The Arctic has already changed irreversibly in our lifetime and as sea ice continues to melt, exposing more open ocean, countries will need to work even closer together to understand, protect and manage it from the increasing threats of climate change and development.” Read more in the Independent.

By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network


See These Related Blue Ocean Articles:

Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary Needs Your Help
Drones Discover Antarctica’s Newest Penguin Colony
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Joins with Obama to Ban Oil and Gas Leases in the Arctic
President Obama bans Oil Drilling in Large Areas of Atlantic and Arctic Oceans
Hopes Dashed, Hopes Raised for World’s Largest MPA in Eastern Anhttps
Windmills in the Arctic; a Round-up on Arctic Articles
Help Protect the Arctic Ocean from Exploitation


How To Get More Ocean-Hearted Intel Delivered To Your Inbox!

We believe ocean lovers can change the world. If you care about the health of the ocean and want to do something about it, then connect with the Blue Ocean tribe: Our growing community of ocean change-makers is turning ocean lovers into ocean leaders. It starts with you. Join us!