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Commercial Fishing


Historic Agreement on Arctic Fisheries Signed

Historic Agreement on Arctic Fisheries Signed: From 2 to 4 October, Greenland will host a ceremony in Ilulissat, where an historic agreement on fisheries in the Arctic will be signed to prevent unregulated fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.

The agreement covers an area the size of the Mediterranean (approximately 2.8 million square kilometres) and is a result of negotiations between the Arctic coastal states – Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland, Norway, Russia and the USA, along with other five large fisheries nations/partners – the EU, Iceland, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelsen said: “With this agreement, we show the whole world that we are able to make timely decisions in the Arctic. When the ice melts, we will face new challenges but also new opportunities in areas like fisheries and transport. We need to manage both the opportunities and the challenges, and that is exactly what we are doing with this agreement. The right to the sustainable use of marine resources is a common aim for all three parts of the Danish realm.

“I am very pleased with the good cooperation between Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Denmark that we have had during the negotiations. I am also happy that Greenland is hosting the signing of the agreement. This is a big event, and many efforts have been put into making it happen.”

With this legally binding agreement the parties oblige themselves not initiate commercial fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean, until there is better knowledge about the fish stocks. Therefore, a joint programme of scientific research and monitoring will be established as part of the agreement.

Denmark’s Minister for Fisheries Eva Kjer Hansen added: “The temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise. In the long run, this could mean that commercial fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean could become possible.

“It is the first time a fisheries agreement for such a large area is in place before fishing have even been initiated. This is historical. Amongst other things, it is important that a joint programme of scientific research and monitoring will be established in order to secure a solid scientific basis for sustainable fisheries.

“I am happy that the EU is also party to the agreement and thereby looking after the interests of the Member States.”