U.S. Pushes International Ban on Arctic Fishing

By Lauren Rosenthal

KUCB – Unalaska

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.

For Complete Arctic:

Brookings: A Stellar Insight on Regulatory Governance of the Arctic

The Brookings Energy Security Initiative released a report titled:  Offshore Oil and Gas Governance in the Arctic.

The report is a must read analysis of leadership issues to be addressed in managing the fragile assets of the Arctic.

Of particular interest to our readers is the excellent coverage devoted to regulatory governance. In particular the report concludes:

One of the most often referenced differences in national governance schemes is whether the country’s regulatory approach is  prescriptive or performance-based. The U.S. traditionally has employed a prescriptive approach, which the Arctic Council defines as one in which standards are adopted as explicit regulatory requirements. A regulatory body then evaluates and inspects operations in accordance with these standards. In this approach, the regulator is responsible for ensuring the operators meet clearly-defined requirements.

Asian Giants Look to the Arctic

By Katherine Cima and Russell Sticklor

The Diplomat

After a lengthy courtship, China and India formalized their relationship with the Arctic Council in May 2013 by gaining admission as official observer states. In the months since, both countries have been actively seeking influence with the Council’s permanent members to further establish footholds in a region certain to emerge as a central arena of 21st century geopolitics, scientific research and commerce. But while public statements out of Beijing and New Delhi since May have often cited climate change research as the primary driver of the two countries’ Arctic engagement, the real underlying motive remains securing access to the region’s greatest natural treasure: energy.

Ukraine and the Arctic Council

By John Crump

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

When the Arctic Council meets this week in Yellowknife, participants will no doubt be thinking of the Ukraine. But they probably won’t be talking about it, at least during the official sessions.

Ukraine will be on their minds because Russia, which accounts for half of the Arctic region, is one of the eight nations making up the council, along with representatives of six Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.

The Arctic Institute on Arctic Governance

By Kathrin Keil

Arctic Institute

In times of pressing global problems, when countries and people geographically far apart depend heavily upon each other’s commitment to a common cause, international institutions are usually faced with the challenge of achieving as many signatories as possible on the final pages of their declaration documents in order to guarantee institutional effectiveness. Many such declarations and agreements, in fact, only enter into force once a specific threshold of signatories and national ratifications has been achieved. For many challenges, first and foremost global climate change, we indeed need as many on board as possible to avoid free-riding.

The Norwegian Arctic: Energy, Economy, and the Environment

 White Paper  Arctic Regulations 


Editor’s Note:  Since a number of  Arctic stakeholders question the Norwegian Arctic program as represented in the following article, The Pan Arctic Forum has  recommended a science-based  program for Arctic Regulations  

The Norwegian Arctic:  Energy, Economy and the Environment

University of  Edinburgh



Oil and gas extraction in the Arctic has in recent years become increasingly controversial due to its perceived potential impact on the environment. This study investigates how Norway justifies its Arctic oil and gas extraction policy, given the nation’s simultaneous focus on environmental concerns.

The Future of Arctic Shipping

Editor’s Note:  This very informative article is representative of how analytically based studies can sharpen a debate. The Arctic Institute study, “The Future of Arctic Shipping:
A New Silk Road for China?” is attached here.

The  Arctic Institute: The Center for Circumpolar Security  Studies

Future shipping in the Polar region will mostly consist of seasonal destinational transport, delivering supplies into the Arctic for its increasing economic activity and transporting the region’s natural resources to markets in East Asia. Apart from these niche opportunities, Arctic shipping routes will be unable to compete with the world’s existing major trade routes. Thus, while climate change will, over the coming decades, transform the frozen north into a seasonally navigable ocean, Arctic shipping routes will not become a new silk road for China.