The 2018 Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean: A Critical Analysis

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
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  • 1 Research Associate, Faculty of Law, University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  • | 2 Professor of International Law of the Sea, International Environmental Law, Public International Law and Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  • | 3 Senior Lecturer, Adelaide Law School, University of AdelaideAustralia
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Following almost ten years of negotiations, the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAOF Agreement) was concluded on 3 October 2018 in Ilulissat, Greenland. The CAOF Agreement is the first regional fisheries agreement adopted prior to the initiation of fishing in a specific area, and it has already been lauded as a science-based measure and a manifestation of the precautionary approach by representatives of States and Non-Governmental Organizations. This article provides a critical analysis of the content of the CAOF Agreement. It gives an overview of the negotiations which led to the conclusion of the CAOF Agreement and discusses its spatial and substantive scope. Particular attention is paid to the extent that the CAOF Agreement adopts a precautionary approach to conservation and management of high seas fisheries, and to the issue of participation in this regional fisheries treaty.

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