More than 2,000 scientists from around the world are urging Arctic countries, including Canada, to place a moratorium on commercial fishing in the region. Ice melt in the Central Arctic Ocean, which was once covered by ice year-round, has made a commercial fishery possible for the first time.
Insufficient research has been conducted on the Arctic marine ecosystem, however, it is changing constantly due to melting sea ice. This lack of knowledge about the region has the scientific community concerned about the impacts that an unregulated fishery might have. Many feel that allowing fishing activity in the area without adequate regulation could lead to the “depletion of fishery resources and damage to other components of the ecosystem […].” Environmental groups are urging Canada to play a lead role in implementing an international agreement to prohibit commercial fishing in the area until more can be determined about resident fish stocks and sustainable fishing quotas.
Blog post submitted by Interpreter Alex Zwick.