International Conference on Fisheries in the Context of Hydrocarbon Resource Development on the Continental Shelf

The polar marine research institute PINRO invites to international conference on fisheries and petroleum issues from 28th to 30th of October 2009 in Murmansk. Norges Naturvernforbund is member of the organizing committee, and brings Norwegian experience on interaction between fisheries and petroleum extraction into the conference.

Depletion of oil and gas fields on the land has drastically increased the role of hydrocarbon resources of the continental shelf, including those in the Arctic. An extensive development of the continental shelf resources will involve the installation of numerous production platforms, laying of long distance pipelines, increased transportation by tankers, construction of land-based and marine terminals, and building of processing plants in the coastal zone.

The explored and prospective marine deposits are mostly located in the important fishing areas with high biological productivity. These are the growing and production areas for key commercial fish stocks. This implies that future at-sea development of oil and gas fields must be coordinated with the traditional marine fisheries to avoid the adverse effects of human activities on the marine resources, their habitat and resource users.

An increased anthropogenic impact on marine ecosystems will call for measures to conserve fish stocks and ensure their sustainability. In case of emergencies, especially on the spawning grounds or in the main fishing areas, compensation measures will be required, including stock rebuilding plans. Nations participating in oil & gas production and related activities will bear responsibility for the conservation of biological resources. Production activities in the adjacent waters will require a concerted effort of the participating nations in order to prevent or mitigate the adverse anthropogenic impact. The arising challenges necessitate the use of a complex approach that would incorporate legal, scientific, technical and financial aspects. This was the basis for the 15 topics proposed for discussion at the conference.

Conservation of fish resources in the process of oil and gas production should be promoted through effective cooperation of oil & gas, fisheries and related industries, as well as state and public organizations. The proposal to organize the international conference “Fisheries in the Context of Hydrocarbon Resource Development on the Continental Shelf” was put forward by PINRO administration and supported by the largest fisheries organizations in the Northwestern Russia and the Barents Sea Office of WWF in Russia. The Organizing Committee hopes that the conference will be arranged and held in close cooperation with oil & gas companies, foreign and international organizations dealing with shelf resource development.
The Organizing Committee believes that the conference will contribute to coordinated actions between different industries participating in the development of shelf resources. This will encourage the development of both the economics and the environment conservation and promote rational exploitation of resources.

Main topics of the conference
    Fisheries:
  • Potential impact of gas and oil exploration and production on marine fisheries in areas with valuable living resources.
  • Potential impact of marine shipping of hydrocarbon resources on the status of biological resources in the fishing areas.
    Law:
  • Legal basis for fisheries, oil&gas and transport industries on the continental shelf.
  • International legal basis (national law of different countries) related to conservation of biological resources.
  • Potential for harmonisation of marine environmental law of Russia and Norway as neighbouring countries with joint resources.
  • The role of international law in resolving critical environmental situations.
    Finance:
  • State regulation of relations between fisheries and oil&gas industry when compensation is required (to cover damage caused by accidents) and fisheries resources need to be restored.
    Management:
  • Management of interactions between fisheries, oil&gas and transport industries.
    Science:
  • Establishing environmental monitoring system on the Arctic shelf.
  • Assessment methods (Russian and international) and long-term adverse, however, not disastrous, impacts on the environment and biota.
  • Work required to compensate (mitigate) the effects of industrial activities on the shelf on biological resources.
  • The impact of climate change on the location of major fishing grounds, their possible displacement to oil and gas development areas.
  • The impact of oil spillages and other emergencies on the state of biological resources.
    Technical issues:
  • Technical requirements to ensure ecological safety under gas and oil exploration and production.
  • Technical issues related to removal of oil spillages and the effects of those on the state of biological resources.

The conference website should be launched in March 2009. Information will be updated each week.

Programme of the conference

The Programme of the Conference will be posted at the conference website

http://www.pinro.ru/konf/oct2009/prog_e.htm

as new information becomes available.

Official languages

Official languages of the conference are Russian and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided.

Application for participation

If you wish to attend the conference, please, register at the conference website

http://www.pinro.ru/konf/oct2009/pay_e.php
 

You can also download the application form in MS Word format and send it to PINRO by e-mail

konf@pinro.ru

or by fax (+7 8152 47 33 31).

Applications for participation in the conference and abstracts of papers in Russian and/or English of up to two pages should be submitted to PINRO.

Guidelines for abstract preparation will be provided on the conference website

http://www.pinro.ru/konf/oct2009/abstract_e.htm

Inclusion of papers into the conference programme will be decided by the Selection Board.