The international negotiations about an agreement on regulating fisheries and cooperating on research in the Polar Sea are getting near the end. There is hope of an agreement.
So far, there have been five negotiation meetings between numerous states in order to establish an international, binding agreement on research and regulation of fisheries in the international parts of the Polar Sea.
Everyone wants an agreement
According to a press statement from the US Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is currently holding the Chairmanship of the negotiations, all delegations have repeatedly expressed their desire for a binding agreement to avoid unregulated fisheries in the central areas of the Polar Sea.
The delegations have also emphasized their desire to promote a sustainable exploration of the marine resources as well as to protect the ecosystems in the area. This also covers a vast research cooperation.
Norway pleased with developments
- We are pleased with the positive developments in the negotiations. Research cooperation will be able to bring out crucial knowledge about the Polar Sea and its ecosystems, and the ban on unregulated fishers is an important preemptive initiative.
Even though there are no commercial fisheries going on in the international parts of the Polar Sea today, nor are such fisheries likely to emerge in the near future, such an agreement will have positive effects, Head of Communications Frode Overland Andersen at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says to High North News.
Organizing not solved yet
He adds: - Agreement was reached in a series of questions, however, some questions remain, such as rules for decision-making, entering into force, and conditions for the establishing of new regional fish management organisations.
The Chairman of the negotiations is to submit his recommended suggestions to solutions for the remaining questions, and according the press statement from the American MFA they hope that the delegations will agree to the suggestions, and thus further rounds of negotiations are avoided.
The countries participating in the negotiations about this agreement are Canada, China, Denmark (with Greenland and the Faroe Islands), the EU, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Russia and the USA. The last round of negotiations took place on Iceland 15-18 March.