Subsequently, the A5 invited China, the EU, Iceland, Japan and South Korea to the negotiations. For this reason, the remaining meetings were held in the A5+5 and were accompanied by separate meetings of scientific experts on fish stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean (FiSCAO). On 30 November 2017, a draft contract was finalised and, after legal and technical review, the final text of the CAOFA was made available in the first half of 2018. Convinced that commercial fishing in the upper Central Arctic Ocean is unlikely to be profitable in the near future and that it is therefore premature, in the current context, to establish additional regional or subregional fisheries organizations or arrangements for the upper central Arctic Ocean, (e) “exploratory fishing”, fisheries for the purpose of assessing the sustainability and viability of future commercial fisheries by contributing to scientific data on these fisheries; The agreement will prevent unregulated commercial fishing in the upper central Arctic Ocean, an area of about 2.8 million square kilometres. You never know that commercial fishing is present in this area and it is unlikely to occur in the near future. However, in view of the changing conditions of the Arctic Ocean, the governments concerned have developed this agreement in accordance with the precautionary approach to fisheries management. Thus, the geographical scope of caoFA is characterized by purely legal aspects rather than an ecosystem approach such as the Convention area of the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). However, the usual terminology in fisheries agreements is `areas under national jurisdiction` and not `exercise … Jurisdiction of the proceedings”. This wording seems to have been chosen to avoid any implicit statement about the status of the waters surrounding Svalbard (or Svalbard), in which Norway exercises fisheries jurisdiction.
In particular, Norway, whose sovereignty over Svalbard was recognised by Article 2 of the 1920 Treaty of Svalbard, has proclaimed a Fisheries Protection Zone (SFPZ) around Svalbard (see map). All A5+5s, with the exception of the EU, are parties to the Svalbard Treaty (several EU Member States are also contracting parties). The issue of the SFPZ is a delicate one, as Article 2 of the Svalbard Treaty states that “hips and nationals of all high contracting parties shall enjoy in the same way the rights of fishing [in the territorial waters of Svalbard]”. Norway asserts that the term “territorial waters” does not cover the SFPZ and that the right to equal access does not apply to the SFPZ either. . . .