The Law of the Seabed

Access, Uses, and Protection of Seabed Resources


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.
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Catherine Banet, Ph.D (2012), is an Associate Professor at the University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, Department of Petroleum and Energy Law, Norway.
"This space where fewer men have walked than on the moon is crucially important for human societies. If it is becoming the object of growing industrial appetites, it is also the crucible of a life that is as surprising as it is fragile and which undoubtedly holds part of our future. To manage it is therefore a priority, to avoid destroying it before even knowing it. This book allows us to take stock, with the hindsight that the scientific approach offers us. We need to welcome it." - Isabelle Autissier, sailor, navigator, writer, President of WWF-France

"This book will be an indispensable tool for future legal research. It covers, with a contemporary legal and multi-disciplinary approach, the seabed beyond and within national jurisdiction focusing more on the regimes than on the limits of the seabed zones. Environmental aspects, new utilizations and conflicting uses of the seabed play an important role. Unusually, domestic practice is also considered. The book shows that the on-going negotiation on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction cannot be seen in isolation. The Norwegian and international team of authors and the editor have done an outstanding work on a very topical subject." -Tullio Treves, Former judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Professor Emeritus, State University of Milan, Italy
Rolf Einar Fife
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: The Law of the Seabed
Catherine Banet

part 1: Defining the Seabed

1 Characterizing the Seabed: a Geoscience Perspective
Alvar Braathen and Harald Brekke

2 Deep-Sea Ecosystems: Biodiversity and Anthropogenic Impacts
Eva Ramirez-Llodra

3 A Short Human History of the Ocean Floor
Håkon With Andersen

part 2: Delimitation of Jurisdiction Over the Seabed and Right to Its Resources

4 Setting Maritime Limits and Boundaries: Experiences from Norway
Harald Brekke

5 The Seabed in the High North – How to Address Conflicts?
Alexander S. Skaridov

6 Current Human Impact on Antarctic Seabed Environment and International Law
Y.E. Brazovskaya and G.F. Ruchkina

part 3: Exploitation of Non-Living Resources from the Seabed beyond National Jurisdiction

7 Commercial Mining Activities in the Deep Seabed beyond National Jurisdiction: the International Legal Framework
Joanna Dingwall

8 Framework Legislation for Commercial Activities in the Area
Erik Røsæg

9 Maritime Security and Deep Seabed beyond National Jurisdiction
Edwin Egede

part 4: Exploitation of Marine Biodiversity and Living Resources on the Seabed beyond National Jurisdiction

10 The Rights to Genetic Resources beyond National Jurisdiction: Challenges for the Ongoing Negotiations at the United Nations
Tullio Scovazzi

11 Marine Genetic Resources: a Practical Legal Approach to Stimulate Research, Conservation and Benefit Sharing
Morten Walløe Tvedt

12 Deep-Sea Bottom Fisheries and the Protection of Seabed Ecosystems: Problems, Progress and Prospects
Richard Caddell

part 5: Principles Applicable to Sovereign States When Exploiting Seabed Resources within National Jurisdiction

13 Review of National Legislations Applicable to Seabed Mineral Resources Exploitation
Saul Roux and Catherine Horsfield

14 European Union Law and the Seabed
Finn Arnesen, Rosa Greaves, and Alla Pozdnakova

15 China’s Domestic Law on the Exploration and Development of Resources in Deep Seabed Areas
Chelsea Zhaoxi Chen

16 Implementation of Article 82 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: the Challenge for Canada
Aldo Chircop

part 6: Building, Operating and Removing Installations on and under the Seabed

17 The Use of Sub-Seabed Transboundary Geological Formations for the Disposal of Carbon Dioxide
Nigel Bankes

18 Decommissioning of Offshore Installations: a Fragmented and Ineffective International Regulatory Framework
Seline Trevisanut

19 Re-using (Nearly) Depleted Oil and Gas Fields in the North Sea for CO2 Storage: Seizing or Missing a Window of Opportunity?
Martha M. Roggenkamp

20 International Investment Law and the Regulation of the Seabed
James Harrison

21 Navigating Legal Barriers to Mortgaging Energy Installations at Sea – the Case of the North Sea and the Netherlands
Jaap J.A. Waverijn

part 7: Conflicting Uses or Coexistence, Resolving Mechanisms and Protection Regimes: Towards a More Integrated Approach

22 Crossing the Sectoral Divide: Modern Environmental Law Tools for Addressing Conflicting Uses on the Seabed
Rosemary Rayfuse

23 Commercial Arrangements and Liability for Crossing Pipelines, Power Cables and Telecom Cables (Connectors) on the Seabed
Lars Olav Askheim

24 Balancing Competing Interests When Building Marine Energy Infrastructures: the Case of the Nord Stream Pipelines
David Langlet

25 Liability and Compensation for Activities in the Area
Kristoffer Svendsen
University students, lecturers, academics/researchers, governments, law-makers, negotiators, international organisations, NGOs, lobby organisations, practitioners, commercial and in-house lawyers.
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