Resilient Arctic societies and industrial development - Stockshift


  • 11:00 Variation in commercial fish stock abundance and geographical distribution and commercial fisheries in a warming Arctic.
    Authors: Jan Erik Stiansen ( Institute of Marine Research ); Geir Odd Johansen ( Institute of Marine Research ); Endre Moen ( Institute of Marine Research )

    GO Johansen, JE Stiansen and E Moen

    This paper would fit a proposed session in the Resilient Arctic Societies and Industrial Development segment based on the STOCKSHIFT project (see paper proposals by Hønneland, Molenaar, and Stokke) but can also be a freestanding contribution. 

    Marine ecosystems are under continuous change, both due to natural and anthropogenic pressures. Such changes influence both the abundance and geographic distribution of marine organisms. The mechanisms involved are diverse and they often interact. Different mechanisms influence different parts of the life cycle of the organisms. There are also strong interactions between abundance and distribution shifts. 

    Since mid-1970s, we have witnessed a warming of the Norwegian and the Barents Seas. This have had pronounced effects on the abundance and spatial distribution of marine organisms, on the biological communities, and on the functionality of the ecosystem. Along with these changes we have observed major changes in the abundance and distribution of commercial resources, such as Northeast Arctic cod and Northeast Atlantic mackerel. The Northeast Arctic cod now exhibit its largest abundance and widest geographic distribution on record. 

    The presentation draws upon on a new database under development in the STOCKSHIFT project, which combines time-series of (i) survey data on abundance and geographic distribution of important commercial fish stocks in the Norwegian and Barents Sea, (ii) data from the commercial fisheries on the same stocks from the same period, and (iii) temperature data. We summarize the observed changes in abundance and geographic distribution and analyse the variation in catch and distribution of fishing effort. 

    The objective is to evaluate and understand the potential responses in the commercial fisheries to the changes in abundance and distribution of these species. This will serve as a basis for understanding the potential effects of climate change on commercial fisheries in Arctic waters in the future, as well as feed into the analysis of socio-economic implications and intergovernmental management challenges also examined in the STOCKSHIFT project.


  • 11:15 Stock Shifts, Value Chains and Arctic Fisheries Management: Making regime complexes more coherent
    Authors: Olav Schram Stokke ( University of Oslo )

    This paper would fit a proposed session in the Resilient Arctic Societies and Industrial Development segment based on the STOCKSHIFT project (see paper proposals by Hønneland, Johansen/Stiansen, and Molenaar) but can also be a freestanding contribution. Climate-induced shifts in the abundance or migratory pattern of commercial fish stocks pose severe challenges to three tasks of resource management – building scientific knowledge, adopting agreed regulations that reflect the state of knowledge, and ensuring compliance with those rules. This paper argues that fisheries management in the European Arctic is better placed to handle such challenges than before because the relevant institutional complex has grown. Responding to the near-monopoly on regulation and enforcement that flag states have on the high seas, coastal states and other players have developed supplementary measures, targeting links in the seafood value chain that are either prior to harvesting (e.g. liability insurance, bunkering) or subsequent to it (e.g. transhipment, landing, processing or distribution). Those measures have proven helpful also to management of fisheries conducted in exclusive economic zones. This presentation examines the still evolving institutional complex for managing high-seas fisheries in the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea, and the Arctic Ocean. In focus are not only national fisheries agencies and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations and Arrangements (RFMO/A) but also international institutions specializing in areas other than resource management, such as international trade or the combat of trafficking or money laundering, as well as private governance initiatives like fisheries certification schemes. The paper speaks to a broader debate on institutional interplay in environmental governance by examining the coherence of these various contributions to knowledge building, regulation and compliance – including whether such coherence requires explicit coordination among the component institutions.

  • 11:30 Swimming Away: International Cooperation on fisheries in the Arctic
    Authors: Geir Hønneland ( Fridtjof Nansen Institute )

    In 2009, Iceland and the Faroe Islands unilaterally decided to increase their annual catch quotas of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel by 6500% and 340%, a move not supported by the other coastal states harvesting that stock (i.e. the EU and Norway). The ensuing conflict over the management of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock has become a frequently evoked example of how international cooperation fails when under pressure from a changing climate. Similarly, in the Barents Sea a conflict over snow crab has developed between Norway and the EU. The snow crab is new to the Barents Sea, moving westwards from the Russian Arctic. From 2016, the EU has licensed vessels to catch the crab in the maritime zone around Svalbard, despite Norwegian jurisdiction in these waters. These two cases highlight growing tensions over marine resources, as changes in the distribution of the resources challenge international cooperation between states. Yet, how accurate are such depictions?

  • 11:45 Participation in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations: A Case Study on the Arctic
    Authors: Erik Molenaar ( Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea, Utrecht University )

    This paper would fit a proposed session in the Resilient Arctic Societies and Industrial Development segment based on the STOCKSHIFT project (see paper proposals by Hønneland, Johansen/Stiansen, and Stokke) but can also be a freestanding contribution.

    The issue of participation in regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) is of crucial importance for the performance, credibility and legitimacy of international fisheries law. States and entities may have several reasons for participating in RFMOs. In most RFMOs, States and entities mainly participate to obtain the socio-economic benefits derived from engaging in fishing or fishing related activities (e.g. provisioning of fuel, water etc., and transhipment of catch) under an RFMO’s auspices. There are nevertheless also instances in which participation is predominantly motivated by the ability to participate in an RFMO’s decision-making process, and thereby influence the substance of individual decisions as well as the evolution of the RFMO and its constitutive instrument. Participants could, for instance, be mainly concerned with strengthening an RFMO’s performance on conservation in general or on minimizing the impacts of fishing on (iconic) non-target species or ecosystems in particular (i.e. ‘non-user States’). Moreover, a State or entity could value a participatory status with a particular RFMO due to the prestige associated with the status (in particular for RFMOs that are relatively ‘closed’) or the evidence it provides of that State or entity’s commitment to, and efforts towards, responsible fishing. The latter can be of crucial importance for avoiding restrictions on access to important market States or entities (e.g. the United States or the European Union (EU)) and other measures taken against States and entities whose vessels and nationals are involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

    This presentation will examine the rules on participation in RFMOs that are laid down in the UNCLOS and the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement, and provide a concise overview of the rules and practices within RFMOs. The case study on the Arctic will offer a more in-depth analysis on the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission, and the currently ongoing negotiation-process on high seas fishing in the central Arctic Ocean between the five central Arctic Ocean coastal States (Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States; also: Arctic Five) and China, the EU, Iceland, Japan and South Korea (Five-plus-Five process).

Science Science

Wednesday 24th January 2018

11:00 - 12:00

Scandic Ishavshotel Ishavet 2

Add to Calendar 2018-01-24 11:00 2018-01-24 12:00 Europe/Oslo Resilient Arctic societies and industrial development - Stockshift Scandic Ishavshotel Ishavet 2

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