Editor: Tomas Heidar
In: International Marine Economy
Author: Tomas Heidar

The Central Arctic Ocean is characterized by a lack of knowledge on fish stocks and ecosystems, which is required for science-based and ecosystem-based fisheries management. There is also scientific uncertainty as to how fish populations will respond to changing water temperatures and ice conditions.

Within the coastal State maritime zones in this area, there are currently mainly small-scale subsistence fisheries and no significant commercial fisheries. In 2009, the United States prohibited commercial fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone off the coast of Alaska in the Arctic Ocean until information improves so that fishing can be conducted sustainably and with due concern to other ecosystem components.

Due to the near constant presence of sea ice and limited amount of fish in the area, no fisheries have yet taken place in the high seas portion of the Central Arctic Ocean. However, with the impacts of climate change, ocean warming and ice melting, commercially attractive species may move northward into the area in the near future. In addition, species indigenous to this area may be considered commercially attractive once they become accessible.

There are different views on whether, in the short term, abundance of fish stocks in the area will allow for commercially viable fisheries. Nevertheless, it is important that relevant States react to these changing environmental circumstances in good time and regulate potential future fisheries in the area.

In February 2014, five States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States (the so-called “Arctic Five”), took the view that large-scale, commercially viable fisheries in the high seas area were unlikely to occur in the near future. However, this expectation has not prevented the “Arctic Five” and other States from engaging in multilateral discussions on such fisheries.

Most of the high seas area in question is not covered by any regional fisheries management organization (rfmo) or arrangement (rfma) (rfmo/A). Only a relatively small part of this area, the Atlantic segment north of Greenland and Svalbard, is covered by the North−East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (neafc) Convention (see ).

This article first addresses very briefly the general legal framework for the Central Arctic Ocean. It then describes the legal framework for high seas fisheries in this area, in particular the relevant provisions of the 1995 un Fish Stocks Agreement and how they relate to this area. Finally, the article addresses the cooperation of relevant States regarding fisheries in this area, both the “Arctic Five” and the “Broader Process”, involving other interested states, and offers a few conclusions.

In: International Marine Economy
In: Law, Science & Ocean Management
In: Recent Developments in the Law of the Sea and China
In: Changes in the Arctic Environment and the Law of the Sea
The legal and scientific aspects of continental shelf limits are of growing importance to those concerned with the international law of the sea. It is rare that the current thinking of both leading lawyers and scientists are brought together in one volume. Among the topics raised in this volume are: geomorphology and geology; ridge issues; Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf; shelf resources and current issues, such as the outer limit of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, evaluating U.S. data holdings relevant to the definition of continental shelf limits, delimiting China’s continental shelves and future directions of the International Seabed Authority. Lastly, the Under Secretary General for Legal Affairs, United Nations, H.E. Hans Corell, provides a strategic overview on the challenges in implementing international ocean governance. Another unique feature of the volume is that a CD is placed in the back cover containing visual materials not included in the printed text.
This volume examines the role of law and science in ocean management. Topics addressed include the ecosystems approach to fisheries management, ocean exploration, marine science capacity building, marine science and policy, marine science and law, as well as biological diversity, genetic resources and the law of the sea. The book contains a foreword by the President of Ireland and keynote addresses by the European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs; the Assistant Director of UNESCO and Executive Secretary of the International Oceanographic Commission; as well as the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority. The remainder of the volume contains comprehensive papers from jurists, scholars, diplomats and scientists from over 20 countries and international organisations. The collection contains a CD which provides visual and other material not contained in the primary text, including the text of the UN Law of the Sea Convention and additional documents, the PowerPoint presentations, and an index to the six-volume series United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982: A Commentary
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Changes in the Arctic Environment and the Law of the Sea offers policy and legal guidance in response to these new challenges. Synthesizing the presentations of leading experts at "Changes in the Arctic Environment and the Law of the Sea" meeting held in May, 2009 in Seward, Alaska, the topics explored in this volume include the political context and scientific background, marine transport, environment and biodiversity, in addition to offshore petroleum and the status of Spitsbergen. A list of selected Internet resources provides links for additional websites, as well as PowerPoint files from presentations given at the meeting.

Changes in the Arctic Environment and the Law of the Sea is based on the 33rd Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy, a primary sponsor, along with the Law of the Sea Institute of Iceland as well as with the U.S. Arctic Commission, the University of Alaska (Fairbanks) and the Law of the Sea Institute, Law School (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley.