Mar 11

International accord bans fishing in central Arctic Ocean, spurs science

A landmark 16-year prohibition on commercial fishing in the once ice-covered central Arctic Ocean will allow nations to conduct research on marine life in a little-explored region that is rapidly changing as climate change accelerates. Officials from 10 nations last week finalized a historic accord in Washington, D.C., that will prohibit commercial fishing in the high seas of the central Arctic Ocean for at least 16 years, jump-starting research in a remote region that, until recently, was largely inaccessible to scientists. “The central Arctic Ocean is now the largest marine area to be proactively placed off-limits to fishing,” said Steve Ganey, who oversees Arctic marine projects at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “There are currently no regulatory measures on the books for fisheries in this high seas area.”

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