The Arctic region surrounding the North Pole is by its nature a unique area.From the perspective of the physical, chemical and biological balance in the world, the Arctic region is in a key position. It contains sensitive ecological systems and extreme weather conditions-large areas of the Arctic are covered by ice.
The Arctic marine environment is of great importance to the states of the Arctic region^ and the world as a whole. The Arctic region includes sizeable potential natural resources such as oil, gas, minerals, forest and fish. It holds some of the most important seas for commercial fisheries in the world.Since its environment reacts sensitively particularly to changes in the climate the ongoing warming of the Arctic can have major consequences to the protection and conservation of its natural resources including fisheries. An adequate management regime to deal with the Arctic fisheries resources management (herein after AFRM) is therefore important in this respect.
The objective of this paper is to recognize the challenges that the AFRM could pose to the effective conservation and management due to climate change. Vulnerability, adaptive capacity and mitigation measures of the current regimes will be considered in this respect. With this objective in mind the paper will commence with a study of the current environmental conditions of the Arctic, briefly review the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment(ACIA) scientific and policy reports, and analyze its consequences on Fisheries across the Arctic. The fisheries management regimes in the Arctic will be considered next. In this context the relevant provisions of the Law of the Sea Convention, Fish Stocks Agreement 1995 and other international law and policies relating to fisheries management will be analyzed. The paper will then move on to evaluate the Arctic regional arrangements relating to fisheries resources management including Arctic Environmental Protection Strategies (AEPS), 1994 Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea (Doughnut Hole Convention). All these instruments will be examined with a view to see how efficient the AFRM is in a changing environment due to climate change. Exploring the reasons for weaknesses in current regional arrangements the paper will suggest an effective and rational cooperative regime for the conservation and management of Arctic fisheries.