Arctic Agreement signed in Greenland

The Minister for Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture Erik Jensen today hosted a Signature Ceremony for an international fisheries agreement concerning the Central Arctic Ocean – The Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.
The ceremony was held at Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat and participants included ministers, ambassadors, and government officials from the 10 Parties to the agreement.
The Parties of the agreement are Canada, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland, Iceland, the European Union, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the People’s Republic of China.

Minister Erik Jensen states:
- Today Arctic and non-Arctic states have signed an Arctic Agreement. This is a historic moment. I am proud that the Agreement has been signed here in Greenland.

By signing the Agreement, all parties have taken responsibility to implement it, to engage in the future scientific cooperation and to work towards a future sustainable fishery management in the Central Arctic Ocean.
We have with this Agreement demonstrated due diligence through application of the precautionary approach to fisheries management of one of the last oceans that remains untouched by man. I hope, and I believe, that it will serve as an inspiration in a time where global focus is directed towards the lack of sustainability in the management of the World’s oceans.

For Greenland, it has been essential that decisions regarding fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean are not made without the Coastal States. It is important to have part in the decision-making processes concerning the future fisheries management of an ocean bordering our EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

I am deeply satisfied with the involvement of indigenous peoples in this Agreement. The Agreement clearly expresses the importance of involving indigenous and local peoples’ knowledge and it underlines the significance of our role in the Arctic. I see ensuring that indigenous peoples’ knowledge and local knowledge is regarded as a key factor together with scientific knowledge, as one of this agreement’s great successes.

The main features of the agreement
- No fishing activities are allowed in the Central Arctic Ocean before a regional fishery management organization (RFMO) is established, which will set scientific based quotas and regulations for the fisheries;

- Strenghening scientific cooperation in the long term to gain knowledge about changes ecosystems and fish stocks of the Central Arctic Ocean;

- Recognizing Arctic indigenous peoples’ interests, the value of their and local peoples’ knowledge in decision-making processes and to secure indigenous and local peoples’ participation in the process going forward;
- Consensus-based decision-making;

- The Agreement will come into force when ratified by all parties.

Contact: Jørgen Isak Olsen, Deputy Minister for Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture.

Copyrights: The map: © Ocean Conservancy,