What will the BBNJ agreement mean for the Arctic fisheries agreement?
This article explores the possible interplay between the envisioned agreement on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (“the envisioned BBNJ Agreement”) and the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean (“the CAO Fisheries Agreement”). After summarizing the main provisions of the CAO Fisheries Agreement and the emerging elements of the envisioned BBNJ Agreement, the article considers ways in which the two agreements could be implemented consistently. However, a number of challenging questions remain, raising the specter of friction between the two regimes. The article concludes by calling on the negotiators of the envisioned BBNJ Agreement to consider these questions carefully, in the hope that the two Agreements can work together to ensure effective stewardship of the high seas portion of the Central Arctic Ocean.