Scientists Call for Fishing Ban in Arctic

New waters exposed by melting ice


More than 2,000 scientists from 67 countries on Sunday petitioned for a moratorium on commercial fishing in Arctic waters newly exposed by thinning sea ice. The letter, which the Pew Environment Group released on the eve of the International Polar Year 2012 conference in Montreal, Canada, calls for further study on the impact of fisheries on seals, polar bears, and humans living in the region. The international waters, which scientists believe could be ice-free in summers in ten to 15 years, have not been industrially fished, but lack of regulation may appeal to commercial fishing vessels. In 2009, the U.S. preempted commercial fishing in Arctic waters north of Alaska.

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