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The Proposed LOSC Implementation Agreement on Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction and Its Impact on International Fisheries Law

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As the development of an implementation agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction gathers pace, it is important to consider how this might impact upon international fisheries law. Although the proposed agreement provides an opportunity to addresses governance gaps both generally and with respect to fisheries, we should not expect too much of it; not least because the inclusion per se of fisheries remains debated by States. Also, positive institutional developments are already occurring beyond this United Nations process. The proposed implementation agreement should not undermine existing laws, but it is unlikely to leave them untouched. The application of integrated governance principles, and the use of area-based management tools and environmental impact assessment will necessarily influence fisheries regulation in ABNJ. Accordingly, care should be taken to ensure that any innovative governance tools are adapted to existing institutional capacities and circumstances.

Affiliations: 1: University of Hull HullUnited Kingdom


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