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International Ocean Law. Jurisdiction Marine Pollution International Fishing. Fisheries. Jurisdiction. Fishing has increased four-fold since 1950s. Fisheries. Impacts of increased fishing 2/3 of world’s fisheries are overfished Some of the largest fisheries have collapsed

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international ocean law

International Ocean Law


Marine Pollution

International Fishing

  • Impacts of increased fishing
    • 2/3 of world’s fisheries are overfished
    • Some of the largest fisheries have collapsed
    • Fishing fleet doubled from 1970 through mid-2000s, but catch has been the same or declined since 1990
      • = more effort to catch
  • What happens to caught fish?
    • Food for humans
      • Developing countries: 20% of Africa’s population depend on fish for their protein
      • Fish is main protein source for a billion people
    • Bait
    • Fertilizer (30% of caught fish!)
    • Bycatch = unintentionally caught fish
  • Why has fishing increased so much?
    • EEZs = exclusive national jurisdiction over marine resources
      • Promoted domestic fishing industries
      • Once they exploited all the fish in their EEZs, they moved to the high seas/international waters
    • Technology
      • More effective harvesting and tracking technology
      • Factory ships: process fish at sea, allow ships to store more and more fish
  • Why has fishing increased so much?
    • More boats: fleet doubled between 1970-1990
      • 585,000 to 1.2 million commercial boats
      • Does not include millions of smaller boats
    • Subsidies
      • Countries give fishing industries loans and payments = $54 billion/year in 1993
      • Contrary to Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimate that need to remove 23% of world’s fishing fleet to rehabilitate fisheries
  • Why has fishing increased so much?
    • Regulation outside of EEZs is lightly regulated
    • Regulation within EEZs often is, too
      • National governments are reluctant to require fishermen to reduce catch
      • Would probably require fishermen to leave the industry and might bankrupt some of the fishermen
  • Why has fishing increased so much?
    • EEZ regulatory model
      • Scientists set range for allowable catch (e.g., XXX tons of tonno from the fishery)
      • Regulators pick allowable catch from the range
        • Often the highest number = not precautionary
        • Even if regulators pick a conservative number, politicians may intervene
      • It is easier for regulators to allow too high of catch – and allow the fishermen to drive themselves out of business because the fish are gone – than it is for the regulators to force some fishermen out of business by reducing the catch
  • Spiraling consequences of overfishing
    • Killing top-level predators
    • Bycatch
  • Killing top-level predators
    • Humans like tuna, swordfish, halibut = carnivorous fish that eat other predators
    • If you catch the top-level predators, then the next level has no population control
      • They will overconsume the next group in the food chain = disrupted ecosystems
  • Fishing techniques exacerbate the problems
    • Trawling
    • nets
    • Longlines
  • They also increase the need to fish more
    • Expensive equipment need more money need more fish need more equipment
  • Bycatch
    • Discarded species not intended to be caught
      • E.g., dolphins in the tuna fishery
      • Small or unfit target species
      • Can also include urchin, sponges, sea turtles, birds, etc.
    • Direct impacts on the bycatch themselves
    • Indirect effect = damaging the food chain – target species have nothing to eat
fisheries the legal regime
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Overarching concepts
    • Exploitation must be conducted on “rational basis” = with conscious, reasonable objectives, taking account of scientific advice
    • Species must be regulated as a biological unit – i.e., within its whole range
    • All ecological factors that affect conservation of species and habitat must be considered
  • Translating these into laws is difficult!!
fisheries the legal regime1
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • UNCLOS - overview
    • Territorial sea = coastal state has exclusive sovereignty to regulate fisheries
    • EEZ = coastal state retains exclusive rights to explore, exploit, and manage living marine resources
      • Subject to responsibility to manage and conserve the living marine resources
fisheries the legal regime2
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Four categories of fish
    • Straddling stocks – EEZ + high seas
    • Highly migratory species – many EEZs + high seas
    • Anadromous = born in fresh water, live in ocean, return to fresh water to spawn
    • Catadromous= live in fresh water, spawn in salt water
  • We’ll discuss the first 2
fisheries the legal regime3
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • UNCLOS Articles
    • EEZ rights
    • Conservation of living resources
    • Utilization of living resources
    • Straddling stocks
    • Highly migratory species
    • Freedom of high seas
    • Right to fish on high seas
    • Duty of states to conserve on high seas
    • Cooperation + conservation on high seas
fisheries the legal regime4
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • EEZ rights
    • Coastal states have sovereign rights for exploring, exploiting, conserving, and managing
    • Coastal state shall have “due regard” to rights and duties of other states
fisheries the legal regime5
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Conservation of living resources
    • Coastal state shall determine the allowable catch of the living resources in its EEZ
    • Shall, taking into account best scientific evidence, ensure proper conservation and management to avoid over-exploitation
      • Should cooperate with other governments and organizations
fisheries the legal regime6
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Conservation of living resources
    • Shall maintain or restore populations to maximum sustainable yield
      • As qualified by relevant environmental/economic factors
      • Including economic needs of coastal fishing communities
      • Taking into account interdependence of stocks and generally recommended standards
fisheries the legal regime7
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Utilization of living resources
    • Coastal states shall promote optimum utilization of living resources
    • Shall determine capacity to harvest living resources
      • If coastal state doesn’t have capacity to harvest the entire allowable catch, shall give other states access to the surplus of the allowable catch
      • Other states and their citizens must comply with coast state laws when harvesting
fisheries the legal regime8
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Freedom of high seas
    • High seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked
    • Freedom of high seas =
      • Freedom of navigation
      • Freedom of fishing, subject to
        • Need to exercise “due regard” for interests of other States and rights under the convention
fisheries the legal regime9
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Right to fish on high seas
    • Subject to
      • Treaty obligations
      • Rights and duties and interests of coastal states
fisheries the legal regime10
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Duty of states to conserve on high seas
    • All states have a duty to take measures for their nationals as may be necessary for conservation of living resources
fisheries the legal regime11
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Cooperation + conservation on high seas
    • All shall cooperate in the conservation of living resources
fisheries the legal regime12
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Conservation of living resources
    • In determining allowable catch
      • Take measures to produce maximum sustainable yield, as qualified by environmental and economic factors
      • Consider effects on harvests and associate species to avoid harvesting at levels where reproduction may be seriously threatened.
fisheries the legal regime13
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Straddling stocks
    • Where the same stock/stocks of associate species occur within EEZ of 2 or more coastal states, States shall work to manage stocks cooperatively
    • Fishing interests shall, through subregional and regional organizations, agree on measures necessary
fisheries the legal regime14
Fisheries – The Legal Regime
  • Highly migratory species
    • Coastal state and other states whose nationals fish for highly migratory species shall cooperate with international organizations to ensure conservation and optimum utilization of the species throughout the region
    • If no regional organization, shall cooperate