Matter commented on: The first meeting of the so-called ‘Broader Process’ on international regulation of high seas fishing in the central Arctic Ocean, held in Washington, D.C. between 1-3 December 2015.
Between 1-3 December 2015, delegations from the five Arctic Ocean coastal States – namely Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States (the so-called ‘Arctic Five’) – as well as delegations from five other States and entities – namely China, the European Union (EU), Iceland, Japan and South Korea – met in Washington, D.C. for a meeting on high seas fishing in the central Arctic Ocean. The meeting was initiated, hosted and chaired by the United States. A Chairman’s Statement on the meeting (2015 Washington Chairman’s Statement) was released on 3 December.
The 2015 Washington Meeting was the first meeting of the so-called ‘Broader Process’ on international regulation of high seas fishing in the central Arctic Ocean that was envisaged in the ‘Declaration Concerning the Prevention of Unregulated High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean’ signed by the Arctic Five in Oslo on 16 July 2015 (2015 Oslo Declaration). The 2015 Oslo Declaration marked the conclusion of the Arctic Ocean coastal States process on Arctic Ocean fisheries, which could be regarded as a preparatory phase of the Broader Process (for some discussion see E.J. Molenaar, “The Oslo Declaration on High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean”, Arctic Yearbook 2015 (available at www.arcticyearbook.com), pp. 427-431; S. Ryder, “The Declaration Concerning the Prevention of Unregulated High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean”, post of 11 August 2015 on The JCLOS Blog; and E.J. Molenaar, “International Regulation of Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries” in M.H. Nordquist, E. Nordtveit and T.H. Heidar (eds) Challenges of the Changing Arctic: Continental Shelf, Navigation, and Fisheries (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers: forthcoming in 2016), pp. 429-463).
This post offers a commentary on the 2015 Washington Meeting based on the Chairman’s Statement as well as the Provisional Agenda, the draft ‘Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean’ of 2 November 2015 submitted by the United States (both on file with author), and interviews with participants of the 2015 Washington Meeting. The subsequent sections deal with ‘Participation’, ‘Geographical Scope’, ‘Provisional Agenda and Main Purpose’, ‘Scientific Matters’, ‘The Roadmap of the Broader Process’, ‘Observations in Light of the Fish Stocks Agreement’s Definition of an RFMA’ and ‘Final Remarks’.