The fifth meeting on regulation of Arctic fishing will open in Reykjavik on March 18. The meeting will regulate the rules for fishing in the international zones of the Arctic Ocean. The representatives in the meeting are the “Arctic Five” (Russia, USA, Canada, Norway and Denmark) and other interested states take part in the meeting, including the EU, Iceland, China, the Republic of Korea and Japan. The meeting will continue work on the draft Agreement on the prevention of unregulated, illegal and unreported fishing in the international area of the Arctic Ocean, as the parties expect to find compromise solutions for the text of the draft, which cause controversy.
According to the agenda of the discussion, the issues of scientific cooperation between interested states in the sphere of fishery in the context of ecological and climatic changes in the Arctic region will be separately considered.
The negotiation process for the development of legally binding agreements in this area was initiated following the signing of the Declaration on Preventing Unregulated Fishing in the Open Marine Areas of the Central Arctic Ocean on July 16, 2015 in Oslo, Norway, by the Arctic States.
The draft Agreement was developed and submitted for discussion at the first meeting on Arctic Fisheries, which was held in December 2015 in Washington. Based on its results, it was decided to finalize the document taking into account a large number of disagreements. During the second meeting in April 2016 in Washington, the parties failed to significantly bring together positions on the format of possible multilateral agreements. Following the results of the third meeting in Iqaluit (Canada) in July 2016, the Russian side outlined a number of fundamental observations on the substance of the text, including on the area of action, the order of scientific research and other issues. At the fourth meeting, which was held in December 2016 in Torshavn (Faroe Islands), the parties considered in detail the revised draft Agreement. The text of the document, according to experts, contains a number of elements that require additional assessment.