U.S. pushes international ban on arctic fishing

Arctic cod. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

Arctic cod. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

The United States is gathering support for an international moratorium on commercial fishing in the Arctic Ocean.

The Globe and Mail reports that Denmark and Canada are prepared to back the ban at a meeting of Arctic states in Greenland this week. The other nations — Russia and Norway — are not currently on board.

The proposal on the table is to close down fishing beyond each nation’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone. The region would remain closed until scientists were able to conduct a comprehensive stock assessment of Arctic fish species.

In 2009, the United States outlawed commercial fishing within its exclusive waters off the northern coast of Alaska.

Scientists and environmentalists have been pushing for an international measure in recent years, as warming climates melt off more ice and expose potential fishing grounds in the Arctic Ocean.

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