Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 431

431 Arctic Yearbook 2015 regulation than the high seas portion. It can be safely assumed that fisheries will become commercially viable within coastal State maritime zones earlier than within the high seas area. The more urgent challenge, therefore, is for each of the Arctic Five to ensure that commercial fishing in their own maritime zones is also regulated in accordance with ‘recognized international standards’, with particular reference to new and exploratory fisheries. Such regulation will - for reasons of credibility and in light of the notion of compatibility laid down in Article 7 of the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement – be crucial for securing support among non-Arctic Ocean coastal states and entities to participate in the envisaged broader process and its eventual adoption of a regional instrument on high seas fisheries in the central Arctic Ocean. Non-Arctic Ocean coastal states and entities may also propose that the notion of compatibility be included in this instrument. For the United States this would not appear to be problematic, as it has already put in place a ‘freeze of fishing effort’ in its exclusive economic zone off Alaska in the Arctic Ocean. Hopefully, the other Arctic Ocean coastal states either already have regulation with a similar stringency level in place or are prepared to do so sooner or later, but at any rate before the conclusion of the broader process. Despite these points of concern, it would be inappropriate to conclude this contribution without due appreciation for the Arctic Five’s pro-active and precautionary efforts and commitments, and implicit dismissal of a laissez-faire, laissez-aller attitude. It is to be hoped that their envisaged broader process commences in the near future, will operate in accordance with international law and produce a successful outcome, in particular in light of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Molenaar