The voluntary fishing ban in the newly ice-free zones around the Svalbard islands is working. From July to November 2017, the areas were monitored by satellite, and the results of the surveillance reveals that only one fishing vessel violated the agreement and appears to have fished inside the voluntary no-fishing zone.
“This is great news and goes to show that when the industry pulls together – from retailers to catchers – we can make a huge difference”, says Alex Olsen, Head of Sustainability at Espersen and project lead of the Svalbard-initiative.
The initiative, which has been commended by Greenpeace, brings together fishing associations and vessel owners in Norway and Russia, fish processing industries and global retailers like McDonald and Tesco. It is expected that a new law to ban fishing in the area will be passed by the Norwegian government in the near future.
Heat map of vessels operating around Svalbard from July to November. Green=Low activity, Red = High activity
Alex Olsen, Head of Sustainability