||Influenced by global climate change, temperature in the Arctic has raised twice than that of global average. Following the exacerbation of the situation of climate change, scientists predict that there will be ice-free in the Arctic very soon. In the past, the Arctic sea was most covered by ice for a very long period, which results in limiting human activities in the coastal areas only. However, when sea ices melt in a degree to which vessels can navigate through the entire region, each State would be inevitably entering the Arctic competing resources there. In particular, commercial fishing would be greatly developed when the Arctic ice cap melts. |
To this end, the purpose of this research is to discuss the development and prospects of the mechanism on the management and utilization of Arctic high seas fisheries through studying the current situation and governance regime the Arctic region. This research finds that possible emerging activities occurred following climate change in the Arctic region include shipping, sovereignty disputes over small islands, claims on extended continental shelves and the utilization of marine non-living resources, and high seas commercial fishing. After analyzing the Arctic governance regime, the Arctic Council is the principal governance mechanism. However, it does not have the authority to address those emerging activities, particularly fisheries. Thus, how to effective address high seas fisheries in the Arctic will need the practices and experiences in other regions.
Under the regulations of International fisheries legal regime, high seas fisheries are governed by regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). Thus, this study analyzes several RFMOs whose situation are similar to those of the Arctic region., and provides policy recommendations for establishing a similar mechanism to in the Arctic in the future. Finally, the latest development for high seas fisheries in the Arctic region is that a draft legal instrument has been adopted to ban fishing in the Arctic high seas area for the following 16 years until an RFMO has been established. In other words, commercial fishing in the Arctic will be commenced when such an RFMO has been established. Such a decision also meets the conclusion of this study, that is, an RFMO will be the principal mechanism for the management and utilization of Arctic high seas fisheries.