In DepthClimate Change

Nations put science before fishing in the Arctic

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Science  08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6368, pp. 1235
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6368.1235

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Summary

Nine nations and the European Union have reached a deal to place the central Arctic Ocean off-limits to commercial fishers for at least the next 16 years. The pact, announced last week, will give scientists time to better understand the region's marine ecology—and the effects of climate change—before receding sea ice opens the way to widespread fishing. The agreement to protect 2.8 million square kilometers of international waters in the Arctic was reached after six meetings over 2 years. The parties include the five nations with Arctic coastlines—Canada, Denmark (representing Greenland), Norway, Russia, and the United States—and others that have fishing fleets interested in operating in the region.