Climate warming is rapidly altering the physical marine environment in fjords on the west coast of Svalbard towards a more temperate state. Reductions in sea ice cover and increased ocean temperatures are evident, resulting in changes of ice-associated and pelagic ecosystems.
A valuable development in international oceans governance is the growing importance of regional cooperation. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, there are currently about 60 international organizations that deal with in regional oceans governance. The increase in the number of these organizations is partly driven by the regional nature of many of the challenges confronting us in the oceans, as is the case is for the Arctic. Another important driver is the provisions on regional cooperation in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement.