Fleets of large factory processors range the world for protein sources. For example, factory trawlers from east Asian ports travel 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) to catch krill near Antarctica. Yet international waters of the Central Arctic Ocean that were ice-free in September 2012 are only 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) from those ports. Without a new international fisheries agreement for the Central Arctic Ocean, there are no legal impediments to fishing there.
Relative distances to Pacific Rim Nations ports
© Oceans North International
Roughly 40 percent of the region that was ice-free in 2012 consisted of continental shelves, margins and ridges where fish are likely to be found and where species from sub-polar seas may shift.
Fishable Waters of the Central Arctic Ocean
© Oceans North, The Pew Charitable Trusts
In 2012 more than three-quarters of the Russian maritime boundary, almost one-third of the Canadian maritime boundary, 22 percent of the Norwegian boundary, and 100 percent of the US maritime boundary were ice free. Ice is still present on Greenland's maritime boundary
2012 Exposed Maritime Borders
© The Pew Charitable Trusts
VIDEO: Protecting Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean
Why should Arctic coastal countries work together to develop a fisheries agreement to protect the international waters of the Central Arctic Ocean?