Arctic fishing grounds???
I don't believe we are going to see this anytime soon - but here's a benefit to global warming - fishing grounds in the Arctic...
For Arctic nations, one of the so-called “benefits” of global warming has been the promise of opening up new fisheries in a remote part of the world choked by ice much of the year.For those of you skeptics out there, don't panic. I'm not saying that global warming will mean fishing in the Arctic, just that there are some actual 'positives' that would accrue to Canada should warming occur.
But many worry that the new territory is also an unregulated one, and that if the United States doesn’t act in the next few years, rogue fishermen from other nations could begin plying areas north of the Bering Strait in the summer, looking for new, unexploited fisheries.
So far, no major commercial fisheries are in the area of the Arctic Ocean closest to Alaska, said David Balton, the assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries at the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science.
Yet “as the climate changes, the ice recedes, the water warms, we should be expecting and anticipating that there could be major commercial fisheries north of the Bering Strait,” Balton testified at a recent Senate Commerce Committee meeting.
The United States needs to make a strong case for managing those Arctic Ocean fisheries before the ice thins enough for fishing vessels to access them in the summer without ice-breaking equipment, said U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.
“It’s time that we really worked on an aggressive approach to protect the Arctic,” he said.
Just two or three years are left to develop a plan, Stevens said. That will include talking to Russian counterparts to come up with a way to manage vessel traffic through the Bering Strait, said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Arthur Brooks, who oversees the Alaska region.
The United States also needs an aggressive — yet cooperative — approach with both Russia and Canada on the issue, said Lisa Speer, of the Water and Oceans Program with the Natural Resources Defense Council.