Commercial Fishing Banned in 20,000 Square Miles of Arctic Waters

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Originally Posted: 16 December 2009

Commercial Fishing Banned in 20,000 Square Miles of Arctic Waters

FROM National Humane Education Society (NHES)

Thank Secretary of Commerce Locke for banning commercial fishing in 20,000 square miles of arctic waters. And remind him to keep working to protect this entire ecosystem.


Gary Locke, Secretary
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
phone (202) 482-2000


New regulations will close all U.S. waters north of Alaska’s Bering Strait to commercial fishing to allow time for more science to assess the health of Arctic ocean ecosystems and the potential impacts of large-scale fishing given the impacts the Arctic is already facing from climate change and ocean acidification.

Those in favor of this ban wish to see a, “science-based precautionary approach for oil that is now in place for fishing, especially given the higher risks of oil spills in the Arctic and the inability to contain, control or clean up an accident in the icy waters of the Arctic.” According to Dr. Chris Krenz, Arctic Project Manager for Oceana, “We need a rush of scientists into the Arctic, not an armada of cargo ships, oil platforms and fishing trawlers.”

Subsistence fishing by native populations will continue to be allowed.

Take Action: Write a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke thanking him for taking this action to protect these waters from industrial fishing and urging him to continue protecting this valuable ecosystem from intrusion by oil companies.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!