Andreas Østhagen

As sea ice diminishes in the Arctic, writings about the region have directed focus to accessing and potentially claiming undiscovered offshore oil and gas resources. However, as has been extensively proven, oil and gas resources in the North have not generated conflict or aggression. Instead, another ocean-based resource is emerging as the primary rationale for disputes in the Arctic: marine living resources. Despite a pro-active moratorium on High Arctic fisheries, issues such as quota distributions for mackerel, snow crab, and access to the maritime zone/shelf around Svalbard have proven particularly conflictual in northern waters. Several Arctic states – or their respective Arctic regions – are heavily dependent on fisheries as a source of economic wealth and food security. States are thus willing to go to great lengths to protect their sovereign rights in their economic zones. This article examines three cases of conflict related to fisheries management impacted by global warming in the Barents Sea and the North Atlantic in order to tease out lessons, dynamics and general relevance to the Arctic region.

Full Article

Designed & hosted by Arctic Portal