Governance of the high seas in international law

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Kampala international University, School of Law
The study was to examine the legal framework relating to governance of the high seas, Specific objectives of the study were to find out the legal history of the high seas regime to examine the legal framework governing the high seas and to examine the institutions governing the high seas. The study found out that the use of the oceans and their resources is regulated by the internationally binding UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. States draw on the Convention to determine their national water~ which extend up to 200 nautical miles from their coastlines into the sea, and they enjoy exclusive rights to use the marine resources contained within that zone. Marine conservation efforts are still hampered by a lack of cooperation between different sector~ such as the shipping and fishing industries. Regional and sectoral organizations and instruments play an important role here, but they hardly ever coordinate their work. The study concluded that there is currently no legal obligation to carry out environmental impact assessments before undertaking activities in these areas. Access to and the use of high seas genetic resources are also not regulated. A robust international agreement and stronger regional governance are therefore essential for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity on the high seas. The study recommended that Marine scientists, coastal communities, producers and consumers of ocean-related goods and services should be involved in the policy-making process. They might be consulted through periodic national ocean assemblies. Developed and developing countries should complete their legislation dealing with all uses of ocean space and harmonize it with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Developing countries should endeavor to strengthen their scientific and technological infrastructures. For this purpose a percentage of their educational budget should be earmarked.
A Report Presented to the School of Law Kampala International University Kampala, Uganda in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Laws
Governance, High seas, International law