US, Russia, China say Arctic fishing off limits -- for now

Nations agree to let researchers learn more about the sustainability of stocks in the area before commercial harvesting begins.

Representatives from the United States, Russia and China on Thursday reached a deal to avoid commercial fishing in Arctic waters pending research on the sustainability of the stocks, according to Reuters.

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Under the terms of the agreement, a huge swath of the central Arctic Ocean will be of limits for at least 16 years, the agency reported.

“This is one of the rare times when a group of governments actually solved a problem before it happened,” US Ambassador for Oceans and Fisheries David Balton told Reuters.

The agreement builds on a 2015 declaration that included Canada, Norway and Greenland as well.