An official statement released on January 23rd by Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries, announced that “Russia and Norway will sign a declaration on preventing unregulated fishing in the Arctic Ocean, helping to conserve the Arctic”.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation & Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, Ilya Shestakov was quoted saying that:
“Creating an effective mechanism to regulate fishing in the region is an urgent task, because the Arctic is the last major region in respect of which have not yet developed international agreements in the field of fisheries.”
“Last major region” is an interesting choice of words – at the other end of Planet Earth is another “major region” which has a developed set of international agreements, but as of yet, not protection: the Southern Ocean, surrounding Antarctica. Just this week, Interpol has issued three “purplenotices” against illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean, while both the New Zealand Navy and activist group Sea Shepherd have had separate runs with the pirate fishing boats.
While commending both Russia and Norway for their Arctic cooperation during a difficult period for international diplomacy, and agreeing that the protection Arctic marine biodiversity is of utmost importance, we at the Antarctic Ocean Alliance think it’s time to remind Minister Shestakov and his Norwegian colleague, Leydulvom Namtvedtom, that both nations also have a responsibility to ensure creation of marine protected areas in the Antarctic.…Continue reading »