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The Designation Of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas: A New Layer In The Regime For Marine Environmental Protection From International Shipping

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Chapter Summary

Over the last three decades, the global protection of the marine environment from vessel-source pollution has evolved into a complex multi-level protective regime within the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982 (LOS Convention) framework and several specialized international legal instruments. The regime can be envisaged as consisting of four major levels of protection, which are discussed in this chapter. Particularly sensitive sea areas (PSSAs) constitute a significant Level 3 global marine environmental protection layer that legitimizes regional and national efforts for higher standards of protection from shipping for eligible marine ecosystems. There is a presumption that proponent States have the political and management will to act. At the same time, however, the argument that proponent States should endeavour to better implement existing Level 1 and 2 responsibilities to justify additional encroachments on international navigation rights through Level 3 action still holds.

Keywords: global marine environmental protection; international shipping; LOS Convention; particularly sensitive sea areas (PSSAs)



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