Identifying Sensitive Marine Areas in the High Seas: a Review of the Scientific Criteria Adopted under International Law

High Seas Governance
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the parallel and inter-related legal development in different international fora of sets of criteria to identify marine areas of particular sensitivity. It focuses primarily on criteria that were legally adopted by States, whether they are binding or not. These criteria can be grouped into two broad categories: (1) criteria developed to identify areas of particular ecological and cultural sensitivity and promote their protection and conservation; and, (2) criteria developed to identify marine areas that are sensitive to particular activities and provide a basis on which to restrict these activities accordingly. Comparison of sets of ecological and non-ecological criteria demonstrates that they are consistent and mutually reinforcing.

High Seas Governance

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