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Conservation on the High Seas: Developing the Concept of the High Seas Marine Protected Areas

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AbstractThis article explores developments in connection with marine protected areas (MPAs) on the high seas, beginning with a brief survey of existing high seas MPAs, recent initiatives such as the designation of the South Orkney Islands MPA, the creation of a network of OSPAR MPAs and the work undertaken by the UN General Assembly on developing a framework for oceans governance in areas beyond national jurisdiction. It considers: the absence of a clear legal basis for the creation of MPAs on the high seas; the relationship between MPA designation and traditional high seas freedoms; and the complex jurisdictional arrangements that govern activities on and in the high seas.

Affiliations: 1: School of Law, University of Canterbury Christchurch New Zealand, URL:


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