Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Appears Poised to Sign International Arctic Fish Deal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Appears Poised to Sign International Arctic Fish Deal

Article excerpt

Canada appears poised to sign Arctic fish deal

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Canada appears poised to sign an international agreement to block commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean until more is known about the potential of the resource.

A source close to the negotiations told The Canadian Press that the deal is to be signed next Thursday in Oslo.

A Fisheries and Oceans spokeswoman confirmed that Canada will be in Norway next week.

"We can confirm that we are planning to attend a meeting in Norway with other Arctic Ocean coastal states to discuss further measures against unregulated high-seas fishing in the central Arctic Ocean," Carole Saindon wrote in an email.

"Details of the results of those discussions will be released at the conclusion of the meeting."

Canada, the United States, Russia, Denmark and Norway reached an interim agreement in February 2014 to work toward protecting Arctic waters beyond the 200-kilometre territorial limit of their respective shores, an area the size of the Mediterranean Sea.

"The participants recognized the need for interim precautionary measures to prevent any future commercial fisheries without the prior establishment of appropriate regulatory mechanisms," the countries said in a news release.

The final signing of that agreement has been expected, said Michael Byers, an international law expert at the University of British Columbia.

"The signing has been planned for some time, and postponed for the last year or so because of (events in) Ukraine," he wrote. "I ... have been expecting something this summer. …

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