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Greenpeace brokers deal to stop some cod fishing expansion

TORONTO – Greenpeace says it has brokered an agreement between two major fishing groups and a number of major fish processors and retailers to prevent fishing for cod in a part of the Arctic Ocean where it has not been sourced from previously.

Fiskebat, the Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners Association, and Russia’s Karat Group have agreed not to fish for cod in a portion of what’s been designated by the United Nations as major fishing area 27 in part of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans north of Europe.

The area was previously covered by ice.

Greenpeace says the bottom trawling method of fishing for cod can cause environmental damage and such areas are not covered by any specific legal regimes, leaving it up to the industry to protect them.

McDonald’s, British grocer Tesco, fish processor Espersen and several other fish processors have pledged not to purchase cod sourced from these waters if other fishing companies outside of the two covered by the agreement decide to enter those waters.

Greenpeace Arctic campaigner Alex Speers-Roesch said the agreement will also increase pressure on Canada and other Arctic countries to protect such areas.