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Edited by Myron H. Nordquist, John Norton Moore and Ronán Long

Edited by Aldo Chircop, Scott Coffen-Smout and Moira L. McConnell

Devoted to assessing the state of ocean and coastal governance, knowledge, and management, the Ocean Yearbook provides information in one convenient resource.

As in previous editions, articles provide multidisciplinary expert perspectives on contemporary issues. Each new volume draws on policy studies, international relations, international and comparative law, management, marine sciences, economics, and social sciences. Each volume contains key recent legal and policy instruments.

The Yearbook is a collaborative initiative of the International Ocean Institute ( in Malta and the Marine & Environmental Law Institute ( at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

The Yearbook is now available online. Learn more about the electronic product here.

M. Bob Kao


The rise of Somali piracy in the beginning of the 21st century led to a swift response by the international community. Suspects were arrested by naval forces in the high seas exercising universal jurisdiction. As there is no international tribunal for maritime piracy, the suspects were prosecuted in national courts using domestic laws. The United States prosecuted a handful of cases using its piracy statute passed in 1909, which incorporates international law but prescribes mandatory life imprisonment for those convicted. Although the definition of the crime of piracy in the United States evolves along with developments in international law, the punishment is an outlier that deviates from global norms. This article argues that the punishment for piracy in the United States must also evolve with international practice because a changing definition of a crime coupled with a fixed punishment may lead to rule of law violations and other undesirable results.

Catherine Redgwell


Climate change poses serious threats to the marine environment but there is no explicit mention of climate change, ocean warming and acidification in LOSC. This comes as little surprise, given its conclusion in the early 1980s when appreciation for the potential severity of climate change was emerging. As a ‘living instrument’, the Convention has the flexibility and legal tools to address emerging climate change impacts. This article assesses its capacity to do so, as well as the extent to which the oceans have featured in the climate regime. LOSC is not ‘enough’ – but then, it has never been a ‘one stop shop’ for marine environmental protection, whether from conventional sources of marine pollution or from relatively newly appreciated threats such as the impacts of climate change. Indeed, a multifaceted approach is typical of legal responses to the ‘super wicked’ problem of climate change, and the oceans are no exception.


Electing Australia’s Marine Protection Legacy

Genevieve C. Quirk


China’s Arctic Policy: Implications and Implementation

Yubing Shi

Coast Guard Cooperation in the South China Sea

A Confidence-Building Measure?

Jo Inge Bekkevold

The recent emergence of coast guard capabilities in East Asia necessitates a deeper assessment of the potential and limit of coast guard co-operation. Developing a framework of analysis based on the experiences of confidence-building measures (cbms) within the United Nations and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (csce), this article examines if enhanced coast guard cooperation can be a tool to build trust among littoral states in the South China Sea, reduce tension and increase stability in the region. The potential and limit of coast guard cooperation as a confidence-building measure are assessed along five dimensions: First, the importance of local ownership. Second, the necessity of a multi-level operational approach. Moreover, the challenge of spoilers and bureaucratic fragmentation. Fourth, transnational coast guards cooperation in disputed waters, and finally, the risk of cooperation and confidence-building being undermined by great power competition in contested waters.

Jae-Gon Lee

This article assesses the current situation of ghg emissions from international shipping, recognizing the dire need of counter-responses from the industry. It examines the attempted international endeavor by the International Maritime Organization (imo) to regulate ghg emissions from international maritime transportation and seeks ways ahead in response to existing challenges. It is suggested that certain responses can be taken to overcome the insufficient action to ghg emissions from international shipping, including reinforcement of present technical and operational measures, adoption of market-based measures, capacity-building in developing countries, and regional and domestic measures of port States.


Japan’s Decision to Withdraw from the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling

Chie Kojima