International Law of Sharks

Obstacles, Options and Opportunities


In International Law of Sharks, Erika J. Techera and Natalie Klein provide an in-depth analysis of the current legal frameworks that relate to these important species. The authors offer ways in which to overcome obstacles that prevent existing laws from working better and identify best practice global governance options while highlighting opportunities for legal reform.

Scientific evidence indicates that sharks play a critical role in maintaining marine ecosystem health, yet current governance regimes have not been effective and many shark species continue to diminish. In this context, effective laws are critical to improve sharks’ conservation status. This volume also explores the broader relevance of oceans governance by identifying appropriate legal frameworks and regulatory mechanisms that balance conservation and utilisation of marine species in general.
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Erika J. Techera, the University of Western Australia, is Professor of Law and Director of the Oceans Institute. She is an international and comparative environmental lawyer focusing predominantly on oceans and marine species.

Natalie Klein, Macquarie University, is Professor and Dean at Macquarie Law School where she teaches, researches and provides advice in the area of international dispute settlement and the law of the sea.
List of Abbreviations
List of Treaties
List of Foreign Legislation
List of Cases
List of Figures

Chapter 1. The Case for Sharks

1 Why sharks
1.1 Scientific knowledge
1.2 Societal attitudes and approaches
1.3 Values
2 Legal dimensions
2.1 Legal responses
2.2 Legal challenges
3 Global influences
3.1 Holistic approaches
3.2 Ecosystem-based management
3.3 Inter-disciplinarity
4 Moving forward
4.1 Underpinning principles, concepts and approaches
4.2 Fragmented governance
4.3 Implementation
5 Conclusion

Chapter 2. International Law Framework

1 Introduction
2 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement
3 International Plan of Action for Sharks
4 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
5 Convention on Migratory Species and the Sharks Memorandum of Understanding
6 Key Environmental Principles
6.1 Sustainable development and sustainable management
6.2 Precautionary approach
6.3 Environmental impact assessments
6.4 Ecosystem-based approach
6.5 Biodiversity protection
7 Conclusion

Chapter 3. Governance and Regulation

1 Linking governance and sustainability
1.1 Defining sustainability
1.2 What is good governance
2 Environmental governance theories
2.1 Hierarchical theories
2.2 Multi-layered approaches
2.3 A return to principles
3 Regulation
3.1 Regulatory theory
3.2 Environmental regulation
3.3 Regulatory pluralism
4 Bringing it altogether
4.1 Foundations
4.2 Achieving goals
5 Conclusion

Chapter 4. Species-Based Measures

1 Species-based approaches
1.1 Background
1.2 The emergence of law and policy
1.3 Defining species-based approaches
1.4 Substance of species-based mechanisms
1.5 Inter-disciplinarity
2 Legal frameworks for protections of species
2.1 Historical developments
2.2 International environmental laws
2.3 Fisheries regulation
2.4 Other activities impacting species: marine eco-tourism
3 Shark specific measures
3.1 Fishing and finning bans
3.2 Gear and equipment
3.3 Supply chain
4 Gaps and challenges
5 Conclusion

Chapter 5. Spatial and Area Measures

1 Exploring area-based measures
1.1 Background
1.2 The value of spatial measures
1.3 Defining protected ocean areas
1.4 The substance of protected areas
2 Spatial Measures in International Law
2.1 International treaties
2.2 Regional agreements
3 Implementation of Spatial Measures
3.1 Shark-focused MPAs
3.2 Sanctuaries
4 Challenges and Opportunities
4.1 Gaps and challenges
4.2 Synergies and solutions
5 Conclusion

Chapter 6. Institutions: Key Roles and Structural Issues

1 Background to the Law of International Organisations
2 Key Roles for International Environmental Institutions
3.1 Law-making and standard setting
3.2 Stakeholder participation
3.3 Collection of information
3.4 Monitoring, compliance and dispute settlement
3 UNEP, FAO and Treaty Organisations
4.1 UNEP
4.2 FAO
4.4 CMS and the Sharks MoU
4 Responses within RFMOs
5 A Shark Commission? Lessons from Whales
6 Interaction between International Institutions
7 Conclusion

Chapter 7. Enforcement and Compliance

1 Legal Framework for Enforcement under UNCLOS and the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement
1.1 In the EEZ
1.2 On the high seas
1.2.1 Exclusive flag state jurisdiction
1.2.2 Boarding and inspecting vessels flagged to another state
2 Port State Measures
3 Inspections, Monitoring and Other Enforcement Processes: Lessons from RFMOs
4 Compliance with Treaty Obligations: CITES, CMS and CBD
4.2 CMS
4.3 CBD
5 Dispute Settlement Options
6 Sanctions and Trade Restrictions
7 Concluding Remarks: Improving Enforcement and Compliance

Chapter 8. Broader Lessons Learned: A Principled Approach

1 Lessons Learned for Sharks
1.1 International legal regime
1.2 Spatial and species measures
1.3 Compliance and enforcement
1.4 Structural issues
2 Lessons Learned for Other Marine Species
2.1 Commonalities between sharks and other marine species
2.2 Lessons from other marine species
3 Lessons for Governance and Sustainability
4 Virtual Treaty Regime
5 Conclusion


Scholars interested in international law, environmental law, law of the sea and animal law, as well as advocates, policy-makers, scientists, and economists interested in sharks and marine conservation.
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