Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 427

Briefing Note The Oslo Declaration on High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean Erik J. Molenaar On 16 July 2015, in Oslo, the coastal states of the Arctic Ocean – Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States (Arctic Five) – took a long-awaited further step in the international regulation of Arctic Ocean fisheries by signing the ‘Declaration Concerning the Prevention of Unregulated High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean’ (Oslo Declaration). Key features of the Declaration are that it contains various political commitments, rather than international obligations; it relates exclusively to fishing in the high seas portion of the central Arctic Ocean; it is different than a ‘moratorium’, ‘ban’ or ‘freeze of fishing effort’; and it applies only to the Arctic Five. The origins of the Arctic Five’s process on Arctic Ocean fisheries can be traced back to the United States Senate joint &W6