Iceland Left out of Arctic Fishing Accord
Iceland was not involved in the creation of the new joint cooperation agreement on fishing in the Arctic Ocean, and insists it should be included.
The five nations involved in the agreements since 2008 all have coastal boundaries with the Arctic Ocean, whereas other Arctic Council members Sweden, Finland and Iceland do not. Iceland argues, however, that it has significant interest in the area, especially fisheries, and should be included, icelandreview.com
The meeting at the ministry with the ambassadors of the USA, Denmark, Canada, Norway and Russia took place yesterday and allowed the Icelandic authorities to express their disappointment and displeasure at being left out. According to the ministry head, the ambassadors were strongly reminded that any Arctic issue related to fishing affects Iceland greatly.
The agreement signed by the five countries includes a ban on unrestricted fishing in the Arctic Ocean; though Iceland will not be bound by the rules as it was not a signatory.
At the meeting, the Icelandic side emphasized that all states with interests in the region should be invited to take part in multinational negotiations over the High North. The regulation of fishing in the region affects Iceland in a great way, as it is one of the world’s leading fishing nations, and no Arctic nation has greater interest in fisheries.
The five nations began their formal co-operation, without Iceland, with the Ilullisat Declaration in 2008. Icelandic authorities have regularly complained of being left out of important decisions relating to the Arctic since then.