Transdisciplinary Research with the Central Arctic Ocean High Seas

Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) presentations with the  International Marine Efforts: Marine Ecosystems Community on 6 December 2023 illustrate transdisciplinary connections with research into action.  This IARPC meeting considered the 2018 AGREEMENT TO PREVENT UNREGULATED HIGH SEAS FISHERIES IN THE CENTRAL ARCTIC OCEAN, which entered into force on in 25 June 2021, and its implementation. 

Dr. John Bengston with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discussed the  Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries Agreement (CAOFA): new opportunities for collaborative marine ecosystem studies as part of the CAOFA Joint Program of Scientific Research and Monitoring (JPSRM)

  •  The 2021 Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries Agreement (CAOFA) stipulates that any commercial fisheries to be conducted in the high seas of the Central Arctic Ocean shall be regulated by precautionary conservation and management measures. Such measures shall be developed within a broad ecosystem context and long-term strategy to safeguard healthy marine ecosystems — both in the Agreement area itself (international high seas) as well as nearby zones. The Agreement also recognizes the interests of Arctic residents, including Arctic Indigenous peoples, in the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and in healthy marine ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean. To facilitate sound management decisions, the CAOFA Parties agreed to cooperate in scientific activities with the goal of increasing knowledge of the living marine resources of the Central Arctic Ocean and the ecosystems in which they occur. CAOFA is developing a Joint Program of Scientific Research and Monitoring (JPSRM), which offers new opportunities to the United States and research partners to undertake collaborative research on marine ecosystems in the Central Arctic Ocean as well as in ecologically linked peripheral seas, shelf/slope areas, and Atlantic and Pacific Gateways.

Prof. Paul Arthur Berkman presented transdisciplinary details about the Arctic Satellite Knowledge (ASK): Integrating Maritime Ship Traffic project:

  • Maritime ship traffic is a primary socio-economic driver of changes with biogeophysical systems in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding coastal areas with immediate direct relevance to Indigenous communities and Arctic residents, national security and the implementation of binding international agreements.   Pan-Arctic applications with space-time cube integration of Satellite Automatic Identification System (S-AIS) was discussed, elaborating the 2022 NOAA Arctic Report Card essayTransdisciplinary implications of S-AIS analyses in the Arctic Ocean were considered in view of the law of the sea, to which all Arctic states and Indigenous Peoples “remain committed”,  and the 2018 Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAOFA) in specific.