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Sea-Borne Tourism in Antarctica: Avenues for Further Intergovernmental Regulation

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

During the past 3,5 decades, sea-borne (cruise) tourism in Antarctica has steadily intensified and diversified. So far, the States involved in the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), who have collectively assumed a mandate as well as a responsibility for governing Antarctica, have been relatively passive as a collective and have largely relied on direct and indirect regulation from outside the ATS, most importantly on self-regulation by the tourism industry through the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). In view of the gradual intensification and diversification of Antarctic tourism, the abovementioned responsibility of the Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty (ATCPs) and the need to safeguard the international legitimacy of the ATS, this article examines avenues for further international regulation by the ATCPs. This is in part done by exploring the meaning of the acronym IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) in the sphere of Antarctic sea-borne tourism, to what extent it occurs and how some forms can be addressed.


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