Do We Need a New Legal Regime for the Arctic Ocean?

Hoel, Alf Håkon

       This paper surveys matters related to the need for a new legal regime for the Arctic Ocean. It reviews the legal system based on the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea, and the regional and international treaties dealing with resource management, (marine) environmental protection and economic activities applicable to the Arctic. It suggests that implementation of existing legal instruments at the domestic level is a key factor needed to tackle the consequences of climate change and governance of fisheries and marine ecosystems in the Arctic. It is also considered to be the Arctic Council's responsibility to build a common understanding among the stakeholders, thereby enhancing the potential for further international cooperation.