International agreement aimed at preventing unregulated commercial fishing in the high seas portion of the central Arctic Ocean.
This Agreement was built on an initial, non-legally binding Oslo Declaration - agreed in July 2015 by the five coastal countries of the central Arctic Ocean: Canada, Denmark (on behalf of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Norway, Russia and the United States. This Declaration recognises that other governments may have an interest in fisheries in the Arctic. Later in the year, those countries were joined by China, Iceland, Japan, South Korea and the European Union (EU) to negotiate a legally binding instrument. These negotiations were concluded on 30 November 2017 and the Agreement was signed on 3 October 2018.
Under the Agreement, the Parties agreed not to engage in commercial fishing activities in the high seas portion of the Central Arctic Ocean for an initial period of 16 years after the Agreement enters into force. This period can be extended automatically every five years, unless one Party objects. The Agreement envisages the establishment and operation of a Joint Program of Scientific Research and Monitoring.
- Commentary and Analysis
University of Utrecht: Arctic Yearbook 2015: The Oslo Declaration on High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean
American Journal of International Law: Vol.112, No.2, April 2018, p.313-315: United States reaches agreement to limit Arctic fishing
SDG Knowledge Hub: News, 09/10/2018: Nine countries, EU sign agreement to prevent unregulated fishing in Central Arctic Ocean
CBC News, 02/10/2018: Canada, EU and 8 other countries set to sign 'historic' agreement to protect Central Arctic Ocean
The Guardian, 03/10/2018: Commercial fishing banned across much of the Arctic
Copenhagen Post, 03/10/2018: New Arctic fishing agreement signed in Greenland
US: Department of State: Meeting on High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean, 28-30 November 2017: Chairman's Statement
Norway: Government: Press Release, 01/12/2017: Agreement on unregulated fishing in the Arctic Ocean
EUR-Lex: Official Journal, L238, 21/09/2018: Decision (EU) 2018/1257 on the signing of the Agreement to prevent unregulated high seas fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean
US: Department of State: US signs Agreement to prevent unregulated commercial fishing on the high seas of the Central Arctic Ocean, 1 October 2018
Denmark: Ministry of Foreign Affairs: News, 02/10/2018: Historical agreement on fisheries in the Arctic to be signed in Greenland
European Commission: DG Fisheries: EU and Arctic partners enter historic agreement to prevent unregulated fishing in high seas, 3 October 2018
Canada: Statement, 03/10/2018: Canada signs international agreement to prevent unregulated fishing in the high seas of the central Arctic Ocean
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 04/03/2019: Central Arctic: EU to enter agreement against unregulated fishing
EUR-Lex: Official Journal, L73, 15/03/2019: Decision (EU) 2019/407 on the conclusion of the Agreement to prevent unregulated high seas fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean