Chapter 22 The CAOF Agreement: Key Issues of International Fisheries Law

In: New Knowledge and Changing Circumstances in the Law of the Sea
Erik J. Molenaar
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This Chapter is devoted to issues relating to the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean and its negotiation that are of key importance to international fisheries law. It provides an overview of the Arctic Five and Five-plus-Five processes that culminated in the Agreement, as well as the Agreement’s institutional set-up and setting. These negotiation processes were confronted with a unique scenario in international fisheries law: they were in a position to collectively determine the conditions under which a future high seas fishery would be allowed to commence. The final package deal that led to the successful conclusion of the Five-plus-Five process was not only driven by the fundamentally different central Arctic Ocean fisheries interests of the Arctic Five on the one hand, and those of the Other Five on the other hand, but also by their broader interests in the domains of international fisheries law, the international law of the sea and the international law relating to the Arctic. Other key features of the Five-plus-Five process that are examined in detail are its exploratory phase, the stepwise approach and the evolving nature of the Agreement.

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