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Problems of High Seas Governance

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Chapter Summary

The high seas cover more than 50 per cent of the planet's surface. All Regional Seas programmes have developed Action Plans; most of them have also developed specific legal frameworks with conventions and protocols. In addition to progress on deep-sea bottom fisheries on the high seas, in recent years steps have been taken to address the pernicious problem of IUU fishing, through more thorough investigation of flag-state and regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) performance at both the global and regional levels. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) and other instruments envisage the use of measures by port states for the control of marine pollution. Clarification of the debates over the emerging high-seas governance regime could be facilitated if one set out more clearly and explicitly the basic principles that the international community has already established and agreed to.

Keywords:flag states; high seas governance; IUU fishing; LOS Convention; port states; regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs)



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