n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The role of international environmental diplomacy in the sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction : ending deep sea trawling

Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Deep sea trawling is among the big challenges that the world must deal with urgently. It is destructive of marine bidoversity, yet it is largely unregulated and therefore legal in many areas. Only a few regional bodies have banned the activity. A solution to this problem must however take into account that this problem affects fish resources which are an intregral part of marine biodiversity, hence the need to adopt an intergrated regulatory approach. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has clearly failed to deal with these types of problems as it was never meant to govern them. It is suggested that through international environmental diplomacy, given the urgency of the matter, a temporary ban on bottom trawling would be necessary while a long lasting regulatory framework is being developed by the United Nations through the Ad Hoc Informal Open ended Working Group appointed in 2006. However development of a regulatory framework is one thing, making sure that it is effectively implemented is another. Augumenting coastal state jurisdiction may provide the only reasonable solution but its efficacy is subject to a number of other variables, that affect international environmental treaty-making, enforcement and implementation.

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