Nautical Nonsense—A Sustainable and Equitable Solution to Allocate Arctic Resources

Human-induced climate change is impacting our planet in a variety of ways. One of the principal issues is occurring in the Arctic region, where glaciers are receding, and the sea level is rising. In turn, this environmental catastrophe is opening up new opportunities for the exploitation of an abundance of natural resources. This Note will describe how the fragile Arctic Ocean should be properly managed to prevent the overexploitation of resources in a tragedy-of-the-commons scenario. This will be done by analyzing the current United Nations Law of the Sea establishing exclusive economic zones and comparing this international maritime legal system to the treaties and laws implemented in the Antarctic. In addition, this Note goes on to weigh the pros and cons of several potential solutions to sustainably manage the Arctic in consideration of the current legal framework and in recognition of the need to promote equitable appropriation and fairness in the division of these natural Arctic resources. Ultimately, this Note will argue that current maritime law coupled with the implementation of current Antarctic treaties will be the best way to properly manage the Arctic environment.