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Protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction: Can International Law Meet the Challenge?

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Chapter Summary

There is a growing call by legal scholars, scientists and conservationists for the greater regulation of activities threatening marine life and biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, i.e. the high seas and deep oceans. For international law, the issue of protection of the marine environment in areas beyond national jurisdiction remains one of the greatest challenges as the high seas and deep oceans remain the last frontier of a "free zone", a res nullius protected by international law and relied upon by international commerce with ninety percent of international trade is transported over sea. The establishment of a new interagency, the UN-Ocean, is set to play an important role in developing the framework within which vulnerable marine ecosystems can be protected by the international community and international law.

Keywords: international law; national jurisdiction; res nullius; UN-Ocean; vulnerable marine ecosystems



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