The Secretary of Commence approved a plan that the Marine Conversation Alliance lobbied for, to prohibit commercial fishing in the waters of the Arctic. The area is some 200,000 miles north of the Bering Strait and believed to be rich in cod, pollock and snow crab. It has never been actively fished but due to recent climate changes and the melting of the ice caps it is slowly becoming a lot more accessible. Thus there are fears that this could all change and fishing fleets will start to work in the area.
This is an historical event as it is the first time in American history that a fishery has been closed due to environmental reasons and not due to over fishing.
The reasoning behind the move to ban fishing in the area is to buy time to get a handle on the area’s resources and put a sustainable fishing plan in place. The fish in the area are also a much needed food source to marine mammals and birds and due to climate change their food supply is in short supply. It is also likely that salmon and pollock will migrate to these waters as they get warmer.
America is setting a shining example to the world on how to plan ahead and protect resources.