Bilateral Agreement Between the United States and Russia
The United States and Russia share many important stocks of living marine resources in the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, so it is important for the two countries to coordinate efforts to conserve and manage marine resources. Marine resources of the Bering Sea include the walleye pollock, which supports one of the largest and most valuable commercial fisheries in the world.
United States–Russia Agreement on Mutual Fisheries
In 1988, the United States and Russia signed the “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Mutual Fisheries Relations,” establishing the U.S.–Russia Intergovernmental Consultative Committee. The agreement primarily aims to maintain a fisheries relationship that benefits both countries. The United States and Russia cooperate on scientific research, consult on issues of fisheries conservation and management beyond their exclusive economic zones and third-party zones, and cooperate to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities.
Fisheries Enforcement Cooperation
Efforts focus on stemming IUU fishing activity along the maritime boundary line in the Bering Sea and on the high seas in the North Pacific Ocean. Strong partnerships continue between U.S. and Russian enforcement agencies.
Living Marine Resources
The United States and Russia cooperate on research and projects on the condition of a number of species, including:
- Bering Sea pollock stocks
- Pacific salmon
- Steller sea lions
- North Pacific right whales
- Northern fur seals
Both countries conduct Arctic research and projects on fisheries, ecosystems, and marine mammals. Research focuses on loss of sea ice, ocean acidification, and studies using surface, midwater, and bottom trawls.
In 2013, the United States and Russia signed a joint statement on enhanced fisheries cooperation, which reaffirms the 1988 agreement and focuses future cooperation on combating IUU fishing, researching and managing Arctic fisheries, and advancing conservation efforts in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.