Chapter Ten: Oceans and Seas


I. History and Background

United Nations Division of Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea - provides links to general information regarding the Law of the Sea, the full text of the Convention, and other related agreements

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission - focuses on promoting marine scientific investigations and related ocean services, with a view to learning more about the nature and resources of the oceans

International Sea Bed Authority - monitors scientific research, data collection and the development of sustainable marine technology, and makes recommendations of mining standards for the protection and preservation of the marine environment

    A. The Oceans
Council on Ocean Law - serves as a reference center, document library, and guide to information related to the development and application of ocean law, including the LOS Convention, its status and application; the United States position and actions with regard to the convention; and ocean policy issues in the US and other countries and organizations
    B. History of Law of the Sea
Law of the Sea - provides links to a boundary waters bibliography, current issues regarding the Convention of the Law of the Sea, forum on the Falkland Islands, and other relevant sources
Law of the Sea Institute - particularly useful for its large number of links to other relevant oceans Web sites

International Sea Level Research Institute Home Page - analyzes the effects of global warming on sea levels, the UNFCCC treaty, organizations, and the national interest

    C. UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 10 December 1982 - shows complete text of the treaty.

UNCLOS Secretariat -  provides links to marine resources, marine environment, international organizations and institutions, and conferences and meetings

1. Jurisdictional Zones

2. Environmental Standards and Duties

3. Dispute Resolution

Dispute Settlement - an Earth Negotiations Bulletin article that describes various countries' position on dispute settlement procedures regarding migratory fish stocks

4. Regional Seas

Problem Exercise: Shipments of Plutonium

Additional Materials for Problem Exercise - relevant treaty texts from 1958 Convention on the High Seas, OSPAR, etc.

Picture of the Brent Spar - describes the history of the construction of the Brent Spar

Greenpeace's Website on the Ocean Dumping of Oil Installations - describes Greenpeace's campaign against the dumping of the Brent Spar

II. Conservation of Living Marine Resources
The Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations - issues statement on endorsing EEZ Technology
    A. State of the World's Fisheries
Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act - authorizes the Department of Agriculture and Commerce to protect, rear, stock, and increase the supply of game and fur-bearing animals and study the effects of domestic sewage, trade wastes, and other polluting substances on wildlife
    B. Fisheries Law
American Fisheries Society - includes the Fisheries Law Section which encourages the exchange of fisheries law information among members of the Section and the Society

Ministry of Fisheries Home Page - New Zealand's governmental agency that is responsible for the conservation and management of fisheries

1. Straddling Stocks

Linkages: The United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks - reports on the signing ceremony in New York, the General Assembly resolutions, FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries, and daily issues published at the conference

a. Problem Exercise:The Seizure of the Estai

EU-Canada Fisheries Dispute - note by EU presented to Canada in protest of the seizure of the Estai

Article in the Globe and Mail on Who Won the Fishing War - describes the losers of the dispute as the Spanish and Portuguese fisherman and the winners as the lawyers specializing in international fishery

International Court of Justice Declines Jurisdiction Over the Case - asserts that the dispute falls within the terms of Canada’s reservation to its general acceptance of the Court’s jurisdiction

b. The Straddling Stocks Treaty

Draft Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, 4 August 1995 - ensures the long-term conservation and sustainable use of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks through effective implementation of the relevant provisions of the Convention

2. Driftnets

High Seas Driftnet Fisheries Enforcement Act - Federal Wildlife Laws Handbook provides a summary of the Act

Partial Step on Driftnets - Greenpeace believes that the EC's steps against driftnet fishing is insufficient

The Case for a Ban on Driftnets in the European Union - reports on the adoption of the Fraga Report on the elimination of driftnets in the European Union

Commerce Department Identifies Italy For Use of Driftnets - asserts that Italy's fishing vessels may be conducting high sea, large-scale driftnet fishing in violation of the High Seas Driftnet Fisheries Enforcement Act

III. Marine Pollution From Ships
The International Maritime Organization - a U.N. agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships

Center for Marine Conservation - NGO that organizes International Coastal Cleanup

    A. Marpol 73/78
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 2 November 1973 - provides the full text of the Convention

1. Introduction

Marine Pollution Research and Monitoring and Related Programs - describes GIPME as an international cooperative programme of scientific investigations focused on marine contamination and pollution

2. Annex I. Oil Pollution

Oil Pollution Act - provides links to entire text of the Act

Intentional Oil Pollution at Sea -  Ronald B. Mitchell reviews the book presenting a case study of how international environmental treaties can be made more effective

International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1971 - provides the objectives, legal and geographic scope, time and place of adoption, entry into force, and status of participation, affiliated instruments and organizations, secretariat, decision-making bodies, and publications

Maine Passes Rule Barring Unsafe Oil Tankers - Maine's Board of Environmental Protection approves stricter rules governing oil tankers and barges that enter the state’s ports

a. Mandatory Discharge Standards

b. Construction, Design, Equipment, and Manning Specifications

c. Navigation Standards

3. Compliance

4. Marpol Annexes II, III, IV and V

MARPOL Optional Annex IV: Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships - describes the rules for issuance of certificates, surveys, and discharge of sewage

5. Enforcement

6. Flag of Convenience

'Flags of Convenience' Give Owners a Paper Refuge - open registries continue to provide protection for ship owners from burdensome income taxes, wage scales and regulations

Oil Pollution By Ocean Vessels - An Environmental Tragedy - a summary of an article by Paul Stephen Dempsey and Lisa L. Helling, asserting the growing international concern regarding the dramatic growth in the use of flags of convenience by the maritime industry

    B. Case Study: The Oil Pollution Act of 1990
International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation 1990 (OPRC 90) - summarizes the convention, provided by the Yearbook of International Co-operation on Environment and Development 1999/2000 from the Fridtjof Nansen Institute
    C. The 1972 London Convention
The Oil Industry�s Preferential Treatment - excerpt prepared for Greenpeace International by R�mi Parmentier in Twenty Years Protecting the Ocean from Waste Dumping

1. Background

Contracting Parties to the London Convention - list of the contracting parties provided by Greenpeace

2. The Permitting Process, Compliance and Enforcement

3. Incineration, Industrial Wastes, and Radioactive Wastes

Offshore Operational Discharges - excerpt prepared for Greenpeace International by R�mi Parmentier in Twenty Years Protecting the Ocean from Waste Dumping

Disposal of Disused Offshore Installations - excerpt prepared for Greenpeace International by R�mi Parmentier in Twenty Years Protecting the Ocean from Waste Dumping

4. Developing Country Provisions

IMO's Revised Guidelines for Assessment of Wastes or Other Matters adopted - reports on adopted revision which applies to the London Convention and its 1996 Protocol

5. Regional Agreements

Problem Exercise: The Brent Spar

South Africa Orders Nuclear Ships Out of Waters - requesting that ships carrying nuclear fuel from Europe to Japan stay out of South African waters

Problem Exercise: Decommissioning Nuclear Submarines

IV. Land-Based Marine Pollution
Next Step; Land-Based Sources - excerpt prepared for Greenpeace International by R�mi Parmentier in Twenty Years Protecting the Ocean from Waste Dumping
    A. Scope of the Problem
    B. Legal Controls
1. Montreal Guidelines

Intergovernmental Conference on Protection of Marine Environment - presents the main issues addressed at the Washington Intergovernmental Conference in relation to the implementation of the Global Programme of Action

2. Global Program of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment From Land-Based Activities

Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment From Land-Based Activities - GPA website providing a clearing-house mechanism for information relating to marine pollution and degradation

The Law of the Sea Convention and National Security Interests - lists affected interests such as preserving freedoms of navigation and overflight on the high seas, maintaining high seas freedoms in the 200 NM Exclusive Economic Zones of coastal states, and others.

    C. Regional Seas Agreements
Tools for Protecting Marine Biodiversity - World Resources Institute presents an overview, marine protected areas, bioregional management, and international agreements

UNEP-Caribbean Environment Program - promotes regional co-operation for the protection and development of the Wider Caribbean Region's marine environment

V. Marine Pollution From Deep Seabed Mining
Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention - notes political and economic changes, such as market-oriented transitions, affecting the implementation of Part XI

Advantages of Accession to the Law of the Sea Convention and 1994 Deep Seabed Mining Agreement - lists advantages such as providing the U.S. with needed influence over administration of the seabed mining regime P>