Research Handbook on International Marine Environmental Law
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Research Handbook on International Marine Environmental Law

Edited by Rosemary Rayfuse

This authoritative Handbook examines the current state and the future needs of international law in addressing the key activities that pose threats to the marine environment. Its chapters explore the legal framework for protection of the marine environment, pollution of the marine environment, seabed activities and the marine environment, protection of marine biodiversity, regional approaches to the protection of the marine environment and climate change and the marine environment. Each chapter goes beyond a survey of existing law to identify the shortcomings in the legal regime and areas of critical research needed to address these shortcomings. This book provides significant insights into contemporary issues surrounding the efficacy of the regime created by the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and details the further work needed to ensure the design and implementation of effective regulation and management of human activities that affect the marine environment.
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Chapter 8: Reconciling activities on the extended continental shelf with protection of the marine environment

Joanna Mossop


As many as 80 states may be entitled to claim sovereign rights over their continental shelf where it extends beyond 200 nm from their coastline. Because the extended shelf lies under the high seas rather than an Exclusive Economic Zone, coastal states have less control over activities such as fishing that might impact on the environment of the continental shelf, and simultaneously more obligations in terms of ensuring that activities on the shelf do not negatively impact on commons areas. This chapter explores these issues and asks whether marine protected areas on the extended shelf can be used to protect the environment. The chapter also considers the extent of coastal state rights to protect its interests through unilateral acts and the advantages of international cooperation.

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