[caption id="attachment_80098" align="aligncenter" width="525"] U.S. officials are pushing for a moratorium on commercial fishing in the international waters of the Arctic Ocean. (Pew Charitable Trust International Arctic Program / February 22, 2014)[/caption]
Canada siding with U.S., Denmark on High Arctic fishing moratorium
Reps of these three nations are expected to seek the same assurances against commercial fishing from Russia and Norway during a meeting in Greenland. The agreement would keep fishing companies from working a 200-mile extended economic zone starting in the northern shorelines of the nations bordering the Arctic, The moratorium would last until a comprehensive assessment was done on future fishing in the Arctic.
Canada's joining the moratorium initiative as a way to continue discussions of the effects of climate change on creating a sustainable Arctic high-seas fishery, This was in sharp contrast to previous opposition of the federal Canadian conservative government that didn't participate. That position has evolved into a more sophisticated position, Canadian officials said.
The arctic is warming at a pace twice as fast as the rest of the world. Scientists believe it may become ice-free in the summer from 2025 to 2050. This makes it important to keep commercial fishing away from the area until the effects of fishing can be studied and understood, Canadian officials and researches said.
Researchers and fisheries leaders agreed with the new Canadian approach. Trevor Taylor of Pew's Ocean North Canada Project said Intuit leaders agreed with the stance. Peter McGuinness, president of the Canadian Fisheries Council, said more study was important because it would provide the framework for successful development of fisheries in the region should it be shown they were feasible.