Protect the Arctic from Overfishing

Target: Member States of the Arctic Council

Goal: Draft an international agreement that would prohibit industrial fishing in the Arctic

Climate change has shaken the stability of the Arctic region, changing the once permanent ice-based environment into one of seasonal ice and open water. As global temperatures continue to rise, this ecosystem centered on permanent ice structures will become vulnerable to devastating ecological and industrial changes. The Arctic, with its four million inhabitants and vast array of unique animal species, is undergoing changes never before seen in human history.

As the amount of permanent ice in the Arctic continues to shrink, global industry will now have access to areas of ocean previously inaccessible. Most of this newly open water will be under the jurisdiction of Arctic countries (like Russia, Greenland, Norway, Canada, and the United States); but just beyond the 200-mile maritime boundary a new expanse of open water will be available to the industry of the world. Without oversight and regulations, this open expanse will be threatened by exploitation and overfishing.

In order to protect populations of fish in this newly open area—and the members of the food chain that depend upon these populations—an international agreement must be drafted to prevent these high seas from excessive fishing. Until scientific research can determine how commercial fishing in the area can be accomplished sustainably, it must be prohibited.

Already, the United States, Greenland and Canada have expressed support for such an agreement. If all Arctic nations can get behind it, the region may be protected from future environmental damage. Urge the Arctic Council to protect the Arctic from overfishing.


Dear Members States of the Arctic Council,

As global temperatures rise, permanent ice in the Arctic continues to shrink, leaving the doors open for industrial fishing operations in the area. Once protected by the ice, fish populations are now at risk of being fished to unsustainable levels. Countless animal species and millions of people that depend on this valuable link in the food chain will soon be feeling the impact of this ecological shift.

In order to best protect this area and the animals and people that call it home, an international agreement must be set that would prohibit industrial fishing in the area until scientific research determines a way to regulate fishing to keep with sustainable levels. Until regulations are put into place, for the benefit of both humans and animals, fishing in the Arctic must not be allowed. This is your area to protect and it is hoped that you do so accordingly.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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