More than 2,000 scientists from 67 nations have signed an open letter calling for the development of an international fisheries agreement that would protect the waters of the Central Arctic Ocean. The letter was released by the Pew Environment Group on the opening day of the International Polar Year conference in Montreal.
As Pew's Henry Huntington pointed out at the Second International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria, British Columbia, last May, there has to this point been no commercial fishing industry in the so-called Arctic "donut hole" -- the region of the High Arctic beyond the 200-mile exclusive economic zones of the five Arctic coastal states (Russia, Norway, Denmark, Canada and the United States). The reason for that, simply, is that, until very recently, it has been covered year-round by sea ice. That, however, is changing.
Indeed, in September 2007, when the summer sea ice extent of the Arctic Ocean fell to its lowest level on record, fully 40 percent of the Arctic donut hole was open water.
Read the full article, Scientists Issue Call for Arctic Fisheries Plan, on the Discovery News website.