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So Much Law so Little Protection! A Case Study of the Protection of the Narwhal

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AbstractThis essay investigates the effectiveness of various international instruments at global, regional, bilateral and European levels and national legislation in relation to the protection of the narwhal. Narwhal is listed on almost all the most important conventions protecting biodiversity as endangered species, as well as the CITES. However, due to various gaps in the law and in some instances disagreements between States parties to conventions how to interpret their jurisdictional scope (e.g. the International Whaling Convention), narwhal are not sufficiently protected and its numbers are dwindling towards extinction. However, there is no a simple answer to this state of affairs as there are a multitude of factors, ecological, sociological and political which play a role in the management of narwhal stocks. The best way forward is basing the future cooperation regarding this issue at the regional or bilateral levels, as the directly involved and interested stakeholders will find the most acceptable solution, which will take into account all the above-mentioned factors.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Law, Queen Mary, University of


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