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Climate Change and Contested Marine Areas in the Arctic: The Case of Svalbard

Climate Change and Contested Marine Areas in the Arctic: The Case of Svalbard

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Sammendrag
In this chapter, we have looked at the patterns of change in environmental regimes that have undergone substantial shocks and successfully adapted to these perturbations. The patterns revealed by studying these regime changes revealed options for ocean governance due to implications of climate change in the High North. The changes, with perturbations in the form of a warming ocean, would be an exogenous shock for the Svalbard Fisheries Protection Zone and could lead to major changes in existing institutional arrangements for managing marine fisheries in the area. We have considered institutional layering – the grafting of new elements onto an already stable institutional framework. We understand that climate change may bring on effects that could alter the regime for Svalbard fisheries because of scenarios of new fish species moving into the seas of the High North. Within the framework of this scenario, it may be that the Fisheries Protection Zone could graft onto its practices the management of new resources, such as mackerel or snow crab. In doing so, however, it would disable the provisions of distributing quotas based on historical fishing rights. Norway may bypass the current self-imposed decision to use the Svalbard Treaty element of historical fishing rights as a criterion for quota allocations. The zone itself has over the years become institutionalized as a management zone under Norwegian authority. The years of Norwegian presence as sovereign in this area have created a situation of stability that no nation wishes to challenge or disturb. Informal understandings regarding the appropriate behavior of the actors in a given setting are critical, as are activities that have sprung up as a result of implementation attempts (Young, 2002). Therefore, instead of ignoring the problems that arise due to climate change, the institution can adapt to the change and layer new elements on top of existing structures. Given the uncertainty about fish distribution and migratory patterns under different climate change scenarios, however, creating a separate regime for managing the up-and-coming species may still be the only solution that most nations will agree to. Future research on the topic must therefore concentrate on what type of regime these migratory trends must allow for and how it can be effective in protecting not only the species themselves but also all other ecosystem goods and services they depend on. It is a task that will demand a lot of research, but is necessary to Ensure the future of the High North as a rich fishery area for future generations that is accessible to more than just the few climate hange “winners.” The Arctic nations, in collaboration with Japan, South Korea, Iceland, and the EU (all of which have large fishing fleets) have reached an historic agreement to abstain from any future unregulated fishing in the international waters of the Arctic Ocean, just north of Svalbard and its Fisheries Protection Zone. This suggests that it may be possible to respond to the uncertainty of migrating fish stocks, thereby achieving a degree of ocean governance in the High North despite climate change.
Oppdragsgiver
  • Norges forskningsråd / 257628
Språk
Engelsk
Forfatter(e)
Institusjon(er)
  • SINTEF Ocean / Sjømatteknologi
  • Universitetet i Bergen
År
2019
Forlag
Cambridge University Press
Bok
Climate Change and Ocean Governance: Politics and Policy for Threatened Seas
ISBN
9781108502238
Side(r)
184 - 198