A new international agreement to ban commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean came into effect in June. It was signed by the Arctic Five countries — Canada, Norway, Russia, Denmark, and the United States — as well as the major fishing nations: Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union.
Before any kind of fishing can begin, all parties will develop a joint program to study what fish inhabit the Arctic waters and what sustainable fisheries may be possible. The agreement also provides a framework to include Indigenous and local traditional knowledge in the research by engaging with Arctic Indigenous Peoples.
The agreement will be valid for an initial period of 16 years, after which there will be the option to renew every five years.