Regulating Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean: Much Ado About Nothing?

  • Rosemary Rayfuse
Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)


In July 2015 the five Arctic Ocean coastal states adopted the Oslo Declaration Concerning the Prevention of Unregulated High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean in which they voluntarily agreed to refrain from commercial fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean unless and until appropriate science based management measures are in place. Like the Ilulissat Declaration before it, the Oslo Declaration was both hailed as a major achievement and criticised as an act of Arctic exceptionalism. This chapter interrogates the claim of Arctic exceptionalism and demonstrates that the Oslo Declaration, by itself, constrains neither the rights and interests of the Arctic Ocean coastal states nor the rights and interests of the rest of the international community. Of greater import will be the outcome of the subsequent ‘Broader Process’ negotiations the Declaration has spawned involving non-Arctic Ocean states. Given the uncertainties and extremely limited scientific knowledge regarding existing and potential Central Arctic Ocean fisheries resources, particularly when combined with the current lack of activity in the area, these negotiations provide a valuable opportunity to implement a truly precautionary approach to their future conservation and management based on sound science and modern international fisheries management principles and practices.


High seas High seas fisheries Central Arctic Ocean Oslo Declaration Broader process Arctic Ocean governance Arctic fisheries Fisheries management Fisheries conservation and management 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNSW SydneyNSWAustralia
  2. 2.Lund UniversityLundSweden
  3. 3.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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