A Real Fish Story

A New York Times Editorial

Here is an unusual fish story. And a positive one.

On Thursday, Gary Locke, the secretary of commerce, approved a plan that would prohibit commercial fishing in a huge swath of American waters in the Arctic that have never been actively fished and that nobody is much interested in fishing now.

That sounds odd, but it’s a smart move based on the assumption that the rapid melting of Arctic sea ice caused by climate change will someday make the area more accessible and commercially more attractive.

This was also the first time the United States shut down a fishery because of climate change rather than overfishing. Mr. Locke’s objective is to buy time to get a fix on the area’s resources and develop a sustainable fishing plan that would assure lasting protection for a fragile and poorly understood ecosystem.

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