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Begich to Sec. Kerry: Keep Fisheries at Forefront of Arctic Negotiations

Urges the appointment of U.S. Arctic Ambassador

In anticipation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s attendance at this week’s meeting of the Arctic Council, U.S. Senator Mark Begich urged Kerry to consider the appointment of a U.S. Arctic ambassador and to build on the momentum of recent international negotiations regarding commercial fishing in Arctic waters. 

The U.S. proposal to close international waters of the Central Arctic to commercial fishing enjoys general support from Canada, Denmark and Greenland and emphasizes the need for strong institutional mechanisms to manage, monitor, and control commercial fishing.   The closure does not include the region covered by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Convention.

Begich also reminded Sec. Kerry of the urgency of appointing a U.S. Ambassador to the Arctic to represent U.S. interests as the region.  Six of eight Arctic nations, including Russia, Norway and Finland, have named Ambassador-level diplomats representing their interests before the Arctic Council. 

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