U.S. Bans Expanded Commercial Fishing in the Arctic

Publication: Los Angeles Times' Greenspace

Author: Kim Murphy


08/20/2009 - In an attempt to head off a major commercial fishing march into the Arctic, the Obama administration has declared a moratorium on expanded fishing in the still-uncharted waters of the far north, a move which as the nearly unprecedented support of both conservationists and the fishing industry.

The announcement by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke bans the expansion of most commercial fishing beyond the Alaskan coast until broad new scientific studies can determine what fish stocks exist and how crucial they are to maintaining a fragile Arctic ecosystem already facing substantial stress because of melting sea ice and rising sea acid levels.

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"This is the first time an administration has taken the time to protect an entire marine ecosystem before commercial fishing took place. It is historic -- a model for how we should work in the Arctic ocean and take a precautionary approach," said Marilyn Heiman, U.S. Arctic program director for the Pew Environment Group.

Read the full article U.S. Bans Expanded Commercial Fishing in the Arctic on the Los Angeles Times' Greenspace blog.

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