Iceland protests five-nation fishing deal in Arctic

2015-07-24 16:28

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Reykjavik - Iceland has protested at a five-nation accord to ban unregulated fishing around the North Pole and says it will not be bound by the deal.

The foreign ministry in Reykjavik on Thursday hauled in the ambassadors of the five countries that sealed the July 16 agreement – the United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark on behalf of Greenland, and Norway.

Iceland – which did not take part – "is... not bound by this declaration," the government said in a statement.

"Climate change and the warming of the oceans mean that international waters in the Arctic may in the near future become accessible for fishing," the statement said.

"The management and arrangement of such fisheries are of great concern for Iceland, which largely bases its earnings on marine resources," it added.

"Iceland emphasises that its scientific knowledge and fishing experience can contribute significantly to consultations and discussions in this field."

The agreement prohibits commercial fishing in a 2.8-million-square-kilometre area in the rapidly-melting waters around the North Pole.

The five countries fear the waters could be plundered by commercial operators in the absence of international regulation.

In 2012, more than 2 000 scientists called for an international fisheries agreement to protect the waters, where a number of studies have predicted sea ice could disappear completely over the summer in the coming decades.

According to estimates cited by the US-based Pew Research Center, 40% of the international part of the Arctic Ocean, also known as the Central Arctic Ocean, was ice-free in September 2012 when the ice melted to a record low.

The Central Arctic Ocean is surrounded by so-called economic zones belonging to the five countries that signed the agreement.

A small part of it is already regulated by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission.

Read more on:    iceland  |  climate change

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.