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Access, Uses, and Protection of Seabed Resources
Editor: Catherine Banet
The Law of the Seabed reviews the most pressing legal questions raised by the use and protection of natural resources on and underneath the world’s seabeds.
While barely accessible, the seabed plays a major role in the Earth’s ecological balance. It is both a medium and a resource, and is central to the blue economy. New uses and new knowledge about seabed ecosystems, and the risks of disputes due to competing interests, urge reflection on which regulatory approaches to pursue.
The regulation of ocean activities is essentially sector-based, and the book puts in parallel the international and national regimes for seabed mining, oil and gas, energy generation, bottom fisheries, marine genetic resources, carbon sequestration and maritime security operations, both within and beyond the national jurisdiction.
The book contains seven parts respectively addressing the definition of the seabed from a multidisciplinary perspective, the principles of jurisdiction delimitation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the regimes for use of non-living, living and marine biodiversity resources, the role of state and non-state actors, the laying and removal of installations, the principles for sustainable and equitable use (common heritage of mankind, precaution, benefit sharing), and management tools to ensure coexistence between activities as well as the protection of the marine environment.
Balancing Deep Seabed Mineral Mining and Marine Environmental Protection
With the transition to the commercial-scale exploitation of deep seabed minerals, the International Seabed Authority’s obligation to protect the marine environment is being tested. In The International Seabed Authority and the Precautionary Principle, Aline L. Jaeckel provides the first in-depth analysis of the Authority’s work in regulating and managing deep seabed minerals.

This book examines whether and to what extent the Authority is implementing the precautionary principle in practice. This includes the development of adequate environmental protection standards as well as procedural safeguards and decision-making processes that facilitate risk assessment and risk management. In doing so, the author offers an insightful example of how the precautionary principle can be translated into a practical management tool.