North Pole fishing moratorium a great step | WWF-Canada

North Pole fishing moratorium a great step

Posted on 01 December 2017
Northern shrimp, Ryfylke, Norway
© Rudolf Svenson/WWF
IQALUIT, December 1, 2017 – World Wildlife Fund Canada commends the Government of Canada and other countries on the agreement in principle to prevent commercial fishing in the unregulated waters of the central Arctic Ocean. 
Megan Leslie, CEO and president of WWF-Canada, says:
“This really is an extraordinary moment. This agreement in principle by both Arctic coastal states and industrial fishing nations to place a moratorium on commercial fishing in the high seas around the North Pole is the precautionary principle in action. With the Arctic warming, and with human populations and food needs ever increasing, the possibility of commercial fishing in previously frozen Arctic waters is increasingly real.  
“Canada is home to the biggest fisheries collapse known to mankind. With fisheries in the high Arctic, we have a chance to get it right – this agreement is a key first step. We are pleased to see the commitment to a nation-to-nation relationship with Canada’s Indigenous peoples as decisions are made about the Arctic Ocean. And we’re especially pleased that future decisions about possible fisheries will be based on a comprehensive scientific understanding of this especially sensitive marine ecosystem. It’s a great example of how people are able to come together across political borders and cultures to sustainably manage a natural resource in a rapidly changing world.”
About the agreement:
  • When signed, this legally binding agreement will prevent commercial fishing in the Arctic Ocean for at least 16 years. 
  • The agreement will automatically renew every five years after the first 16 years, putting an onus on signatory governments to either withdraw or institute a science-based management system.
  • Parties to the agreement include Canada, the United States, Russia, Greenland/Denmark, Norway, the European Union, South Korea, Japan, China and Iceland.
About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more information, visit
For further information
Rebecca Spring, senior communications specialist, WWF-Canada,, +1 647 338-6274
Northern shrimp, Ryfylke, Norway
© Rudolf Svenson/WWF Enlarge