Environmental Encounters or Foreign Policy?
- New Horizons in Environmental Politics series
Chapter 5: The bilateral case: fisheries management in the Barents Sea
The Barents Sea is home to some of the most productive fishing grounds on the planet, including the world’s largest cod stock. Since the 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZs) were introduced in the mid-1970s, Norway and the Soviet Union/the Russian Federation have managed the major fish stocks in the Barents Sea together, through the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission. Most importantly, the two parties in 1975 agreed to treat the commercially most important fish stocks in the area – cod and haddock – as shared stocks, dividing the quotas 50/50 between them. At the time of writing (spring 2014), the regime appears to be a successful exception to the rule of failed fisheries management: stocks are in good shape, and institutional cooperation is expanding and takes place in a constructive atmosphere (Hønneland 2012; Stokke 2012). However, that is not to say that the public debate in Russia has not presented different assessments of how the regime works, which is the topic of this chapter.
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