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International Law And The Genetic Resources Of The Deep Sea

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the level of commercial interest in the genetic resources of the deep sea, especially in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Deep-sea hydrothermal vent microbial communities are highly diverse metabolically, physiologically and taxonomically. There have been several studies of the commercial value of marine biotechnology, but, due to divergent assessment methodologies, it is difficult to place an accurate commercial value on the use of marine genetic resources in biotechnology. The very first step should be to undertake a clear and thorough valuation of deep-sea genetic resources, as well as all other marine genetic resources, to assess the size of commercial and related markets for these resources. The LOS Convention does not clearly refer to the 'deep sea beyond national jurisdiction' or 'marine areas beyond national jurisdiction'. The genetic resources of the deep sea raise many complex issues for international law.

Keywords: deep sea; genetic resources; hydrothermal vent; international law; LOS Convention; marine biotechnology



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