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Managing Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The global loss of biological diversity (biodiversity), both terrestrial and marine, occurs currently at an alarming and probably unprecedented rate. The main purpose of this article—which focuses in particular on marine capture fisheries—is to identify shortcomings in the international legal framework relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) and possible solutions for selected shortcomings. The latter relate to discrete high seas fish stocks, deep-sea species and fisheries, integrated marine protected areas (MPAs) in ABNJ and, finally, to existing and new rights to conserve marine biodiversity. The main argument on this last topic is that in view of the current rate loss of marine biodiversity, reform should not just be limited to the traditional approach of strengthening, deepening and broadening obligations but should be balanced with optimizing use of existing rights and/or granting new rights to ensure that the overarching balance between socio-economic interests and the interests of marine biodiversity of present and future generations is archived.

Affiliations: 1: Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS), Utrecht University, Netherlands; Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø, Norway


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