Harmonizing International Regimes for the Sustainable Use of Living Resources
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
It is over three decades since the adoption by the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea of the treaty with that name containing general provisions on the living resources of the sea and it is more than a half century since the initial consideration of this subject by the International Law Commission. Observably, the effort devoted to fisheries conservation and management at national and international levels has increased enormously since the 1950s and very substantially in the past three decades. During the earlier years, the conservation of marine living resources on the high seas was regulated by a specialized branch of international law commonly referred to as fisheries law. In addition, during this interval, the scope of international concern grew noticeably to include the overall general condition of the marine environment, its characteristics and contents. This development occurred under the aegis of another specialized branch of international law, namely environmental law, which addresses inter alia the conservation of wildlife in general. These regimes adopt different methodologies but share the same objective, namely conservation of high seas living resources through sustainable use. The 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea sought to achieve a balance between the different perspectives underlying the regulation of the conservation and sustainable use of high seas living resources and the right of freedom of fishing. Nevertheless the general provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) did not help to resolve fragmentation resulting from the different...