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Taking Action against Fishing Vessels without Nationality: Have Recent International Developments Clarified the Law?

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Due to the ambiguity of international law in this area, taking action against vessels without nationality on the high seas has been inherently problematic. In recent years, however, a number of legal developments have emerged in the international fisheries sphere, designed to address this uncertainty. This article considers the ambiguity in this area, describes recent legal developments and contemplates their impact on the law, including their potential to contribute to the development of a new customary norm, or represent evidence of an international legal and political consensus on existing law. It considers the likelihood that these recent developments, whatever their precise legal effect, will facilitate the international community’s efforts in combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing into the future.

Affiliations: 1: Office of International Law, Attorney-General’s DepartmentAustralia

1 Zoe Scanlon is a Senior Legal Officer in the Office of International Law at the Attorney-General’s Department, Australian Government. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government.

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