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The Continental Shelf Regime

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the origins of the uncertainty that surrounds the applicability of the sedentary species provisions under the Continental Shelf Regime to hydrothermal vent species. It illustrates the rights of the coastal State over sedentary species and the legal notion of the continental shelf have quite independent origins. These two very separate legal concepts were fused in controversial circumstances. Despite attempts to revive the issue by the time 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) entered into force, it was clear that the fusion was now accepted by the international community. The link between sedentary species and the continental shelf is now firmly entrenched in international law. The chapter identifies the origins of the problems previously identified with respect to the Continental Shelf Regime.

Keywords: continental shelf regime; hydrothermal vent species; international law; International Law Commission (ILC); LOSC



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