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Elements of the Future International Legal Regime

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Chapter Summary

While the deep sea may be alien to humans, regulating human activity at deep-sea hydrothermal vents involves exactly the same core legal issue as elsewhere on our planet. That is, how to achieve the sustainable management of human activities with the overall goal of conservation of biodiversity. One aspect of a future international legal regime may involve the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the high seas. The growing international interest in the potential role of MPAs as a tool for sustainable management of ocean space beyond national jurisdiction reflects the success of MPAs as a tool for the sustainable management of ocean space within areas of national jurisdiction. The efforts of like minded states who wish to create mechanisms for the establishment of MPAs for vulnerable deep-water ecosystems, including hydrothermal vents beyond national jurisdiction, should be encouraged.

Keywords: biodiversity; deep-sea hydrothermal vents; deep-water ecosystems; international legal regime; marine protected areas (MPAs); national jurisdiction; sustainable management



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