In recent years, the international community has become increasingly aware of the growing threats to marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (
Marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (
In recent years, the international community has become increasingly aware of the growing threats to marine biodiversity in
In parallel, some regional organisations have progressively extended their activities into
In the Western Indian Ocean (
Key Regional Organisations and Activities relating to
Many organisations, mechanisms and projects are dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the
The Nairobi Convention
Legal and Institutional Framework
In the early 1980s, recognising the uniqueness of the coastal and marine environment of the region and the need to take action to protect it against emerging threats, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environmental Programme (
- The Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region;20
- The Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region (Nairobi Convention);21
- The Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region, entered into force on 30 May 1996;22
- The Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Marine Pollution in Cases of Emergency in the Eastern African Region, entered into force on 30 May 1996.23
The Nairobi Convention geographical area extends from Somalia in the North to South Africa in the South, covering 5 mainland States (Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa) and 5 island States (Comoros, France through La Réunion Island, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles). The implementation of the Action Plan, Convention and protocols later stalled, largely due to a lack of adequate funding and political commitment. The regional system then underwent a period of revitalisation beginning in the late 1990s. The most recent illustrations of this “new start” is the March 2010 adoption of two new legal instruments:
- The Amended Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean (not yet in force).24
- The Protocol for the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean from Land-Based Sources and Activities, hereafter Land-Based Sources and Activities (
lbsa) Protocol (not yet in force).25
The Nairobi Convention Secretariat is at the centre of these activities and coordinates the implementation of the Convention’s work programme. Located at
Current Activities in
Neither the original Nairobi Convention nor the amended text explicitly includes
The Nairobi Convention is a partner in two projects dealing with the governance of
Also in 2014, the French Global Environment Facility (Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial—
At the political level, during the Eighth
to cooperate in improving the governance of areas beyond national jurisdiction, building on existing regional institutions including the Nairobi Convention and developing area based management tools such as marine spatial planning to promote the blue economy pathways in the Western Indian Ocean Region.
Following the adoption of this decision, a workshop was held in Quatre Bornes, Mauritius, 24–25 March 2016, to highlight the importance of
Legal and Institutional Framework
Regional Fisheries Bodies (
Three fisheries bodies operate in the
- The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (
iotc), which promotes cooperation with the aim of ensuring management, conservation, and optimum utilisation of stocks of tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean. The iotccovers both national waters and abnjof the Indian Ocean.
- The South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (
siofa), which aims to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources29 in the Indian Ocean through cooperation among the Contracting Parties. The siofa’s geographical coverage excludes waters under national jurisdiction.
- The Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (
swiofc), an advisory fisheries body which promotes sustainable utilization of the living marine resources of the swioregion. The swiofconly covers waters under national jurisdiction.
In addition, the Southern Indian Ocean Deep Sea Fishers Association (
Current Activities in
As set out above, two
At each session of the
In relation to bottom fisheries, in 2006 the
- Impact assessments to manage and prevent
sais on vmes;
- Improvement of scientific research and data collection and sharing;
- Regulation of new and exploratory fisheries;
- “Move-on” rules and encounter protocols to require vessels to cease bottom fishing in an area where
vmes are encountered and to report the encounter so that the rfmocan adopt appropriate management measures; and
- “In respect of areas where [
vmes] are known to occur or are likely to occur based on the best available scientific information, to close such areas to bottom fishing and ensure that such activities do not proceed unless conservation and management measures have been established to prevent [ sais]” (para. 83(c)).
Against this background, some
So far, the most complete initiative in terms of area-based management of fisheries comes from the fishing industry. Following the meetings to establish the
In 2006, the four operators formed the
Developing Area-based Management Tools in the Western Indian Ocean: Some Possible Scenarios
Developing Fisheries Closures
Adoption of Fisheries Closures by the
There are currently few operational examples of fisheries closures for highly migratory pelagic species, though in recent years interest has been growing in understanding and developing such measures.45 Pelagic ecosystems are generally characterized by high levels of species mobility, large spatial scales, and limited scientific knowledge, such that existing practice in relation to fisheries closures and
Dueri et al. (2014) reviewed the abovementioned
strong environmental fluctuations, regular seasonal variability in catch, large observed tuna displacement distances, relatively uniform catch-per-unit-effort and bycatch rates over space, and high fisher mobility all suggest significant variability and movement in [Indian Ocean] tropical tuna fisheries that are simply not well adapted to spatial management.51
Nonetheless, they note that the time-area closure could have been effective, given that it targeted prime fishing areas with high bycatch and juvenile catch levels, but that such a short temporal scale (one month, off peak) is of limited effectiveness.52 They note:
Developing effective space-based conservation plans for these species will require additional investment in fundamental behavioural research, as well as careful identification of anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic threats. Furthermore, space-based conservation must be integrated into and weighed against other conservation options, such as gear modification and terrestrial impact mitigation.
Given the foregoing, it may be most effective for the
Adoption of Fisheries Closures by the
In contrast to the nature of pelagic ecosystems, benthic ecosystems are well suited to
Pressure on the
The draft measure
cmm14.02 for the protection of vmes circulated last year falls far short of the commitments to protect vmes that States Parties to siofahave repeatedly made through the ungaresolutions over the past 11 years. A new measure or measures for the protection of vmes should be drafted, adopted and implemented on an urgent basis.
One relatively simple route for the adoption of
Unilateral Declaration by States
A further possibility is that States could unilaterally declare that they will prohibit or restrict fishing by vessels flying their flag. There is already some precedent for such unilateral action in the Southwest Atlantic and in the Pacific.
In the Southwest Atlantic, Spain, the only State known to conduct significant bottom fishing activities, published a list of authorised vessels62 and, in the absence of a
In New Zealand, the Government worked in consultation with industry, environmental
Cooperation on Fisheries Management
The above discussion of fisheries management suggests a need for greater collaboration between the various bodies operating in the
- Cooperation between the
siofaand the iotcto understand bentho-pelagic ecosystems and interactions, and to manage fisheries impacts.
- Likewise, cooperation between the
siofaand the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources ( ccamlr)72 could be helpful in understanding and managing the North-South interactions of these ecosystems.
siodfa, recognising the limited application of its voluntary bpas, has stated that “a decision by the members of the iotcto observe the [ bpas] would be welcome” and that it hopes that “other agencies would observe and support this initiative and not undermine its intent”.73 This represents an opportunity for the iotcand the siofato build on these voluntary measures and work with an enthusiastic industry association to ensure implementation of international commitments on high seas fisheries.
Extension of the Nairobi Convention
Four Regional Seas Programmes currently have a mandate covering
As noted above, the Nairobi Convention Contracting Parties are increasingly interested in developing initiatives in
There is a precedent for such action, with the most extensive efforts of a Regional Seas organization to date being by the
Initial expansion of the mandate of the Nairobi Convention would in theory allow for such action to be taken in the
Given the foregoing, the best course of action for the region is the continuation of discussions on the extension of the Nairobi Convention mandate, with a view to eventually instituting a process to develop management measures.
An alternative to the Regional Sea approach would be the use of a coalition-based approach. Inspiration could be taken from the Pelagos Sanctuary in the Mediterranean, a small-scale, State-led effort focussing on cetacean conservation, and the efforts of the Sargasso Sea Alliance (
The Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals was established by France, Monaco and Italy in 1999 to protect the eight resident cetacean species in the area,84 incorporating both the territorial waters of these three States and areas that were
In comparison to other regional marine areas, the institutional landscape in the Sargasso Sea is underdeveloped. No Regional Seas Programme and no broad-based
The Pelagos and Sargasso Sea experiences demonstrate that an initiative from a limited number of States can be decisive. Based on this approach, some
Area-based Management Measures from International Organisations
Sectoral measures under existing global institutions could be implemented as a complement to, or as part of, other approaches to improve management of the
Particularly Sea Sensitive Areas (
According to Roberts et al. (2010):95
it seems clear, in principle at least, that a
pssacould be designated on the high seas, either in isolation or in combination with a high seas mpa(…) any State could submit such a proposal to the imo, although approval will require broad consensus among imomember States, which, based on previous experience in imo, is likely to be contentious.
The designation of a sea area as a
As any State can propose a
Areas of Particular Environmental Interest
In 2012, as part of its Environmental Management Plan for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone,101 the
In the Indian Ocean, including in its Western part, exploration for mineral resources is on-going. Five contracts have been granted to India (polymetallic nodules and polymetallic sulphides), China (polymetallic sulphides), Korea (polymetallic sulphides), and Germany (polymetallic sulphides). No assessment on the opportunity and feasibility to establish
In the North-East Atlantic the
According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,
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Full title: Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction.
Information available at http://www.un.org/depts/los/biodiversity/prepcom.htm; accessed 25 February 2017. See also the
There is no universally accepted definition of
J Rochette, S Unger, D Herr, D Johnson, T Nakamura, T Packeiser, A Proelss, M Visbeck, A Wright and D Cebrian, ‘The Regional Approach to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction’ (2014) 49 Marine Policy 109–117, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2014.02.005; K M Gjerde, L L N Reeve, H Harden-Davies, J Ardron, R Dolan, C Durussel, S Earle, J A Jimenez, P Kalas, D Laffoley, N Oral, R Page, M C Ribeiro, J Rochette, A Spadone, T Thiele, H L Thomas, D Wagner, R Warner, A Wilhelm and G Wright, ‘Protecting Earth’s Last Conservation Frontier: Scientific, Management and Legal Priorities for MPAs beyond National Boundaries’ (2016) 26 Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 45–60, doi:10.1002/aqc.2646; E Druel, P Ricard, J Rochette and C Martinez, ‘Governance of Marine Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction at the Regional Level: Filling the Gaps and Strengthening the Framework for Action’; available at http://www.iddri.org/Publications/Governance-of-marine-biodiversity-in-areas-beyond-national-jurisdiction-at-the-regional-level-filling-the-gaps-and-strengthening; accessed 25 February 2017.
G Wright, J Ardron, K Gjerde, D Currie and J Rochette, ‘Advancing Marine Biodiversity Protection through Regional Fisheries Management: A Review of Bottom Fisheries Closures in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction’ (2015) 61 Marine Policy 134–148, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2015.06.030.
Rochette et al. (n 13); R Billé, L Chabason, P Drankier, E J Molenaar and J Rochette, ‘Regional Oceans Governance: Making Regional Seas Programmes, Regional Fishery Bodies and Large Marine Ecosystem Mechanisms Work Better Together’ (
J A Ardron, R Rayfuse, K Gjerde and R Warner, ‘The Sustainable Use and Conservation of Biodiversity in
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Including, e.g., the Nairobi Convention for the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Ocean; Regional Fisheries Bodies such as the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (
Action Plan for the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the Eastern African Region (21 June 1985). Available at: http://www.unep.org/nairobiconvention/sites/unep.org.nairobiconvention/files/rsrs061.pdf; accessed 19 July 2017.
Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region (Nairobi, 21 June 1985, in force 30 May 1996). Available at: http://www.unep.org/nairobiconvention/convention-protection-management-and-development-marine-and-coastal-environment-eastern-african; accessed 19 July 2017.
Protocol concerning protected areas and wild fauna and flora in the Eastern African Region (Nairobi, 21 June 1985, in force 30 May 1996). Available at: http://www.unep.org/nairobiconvention/protocol-concerning-protected-areas-and-wild-fauna-and-flora-eastern-african-region; accessed 19 July 2017.
Protocol concerning cooperation in combating marine pollution in cases of emergency in the Eastern African Region (Nairobi, 21 June 1985, in force 30 May 1996). Available at: http://www.unep.org/nairobiconvention/protocol-concerning-co-operation-combating-marine-pollution-cases-emergency-eastern-african-region; accessed 19 July 2017.
Amended Nairobi Convention for the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Ocean (Nairobi, 31 March 2010). Available at: http://www.unep.org/nairobiconvention/amended-nairobi-convention-protection-management-and-development-marine-and-coastal-environment; accessed 19 July 2017.
Protocol for the protection of the marine and coastal environment of the Western Indian Ocean from land-based sources and activities, (Nairobi, 31 March 2010). Available at: http://www.unep.org/nairobiconvention/protocol-protection-marine-and-coastal-environment-wio-land-based-sources-and-activities; accessed 19 July 2017.
Available at: http://www.unep.org/nairobiconvention/sites/unep.org.nairobiconvention/files/adopted-_cop-8_decisions-_24-june-2015.pdf; accessed 19 July 2017.
E.g., fishing limits and quotas; technical measures (such as gear restrictions); measures on monitoring and surveillance (
Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (New York, 4 December 1995, in force 11 December 2001) 2167 UNTS 3.
I.e., fish, molluscs, crustaceans and other sedentary species within the competence area, excluding those on the continental shelf of States (
Resolution 10/01, superseded by Resolution 12/13, then Resolution 14/02; D M Kaplan, E Chassot, J M Amande, S Dueri, L Dagorn and A Fonteneau, ‘Spatial Management of Indian Ocean Tropical Tuna Fisheries: Potential and Perspectives’ (2014) 71(7) ICES Journal of Marine Science 1728–49.
‘Report of the Second Meeting of the Parties to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement’ (Mauritius, 17–20 March 2015), paragraph 27, available at https://www.iattc.org/StaffVacancies/2-Final%20Report%20of%20the%20SIOFA%20Second%20Meeting.pdf; accessed 25 February 2017.
‘Report of the Third Meeting of the Parties to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement’ (La Reunion, 3–8 July 2017), available at http://www.siofa.org/sites/www.siofa.org/files/documents/meetings/MoP%20Report%20III%202016%20La%20Reunion.pdf; accessed 23 May 2017.
R Shotton, ‘Management of Demersal Fisheries Resources of the Southern Indian Ocean’ (
R A Watson and T Morato, ‘Fishing down the Deep: Accounting for within-Species Changes in Depth of Fishing’ (2013) 140 Fisheries Research 63–65, doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2012.12.004.
E T Game, H S Grantham, A J Hobday, R L Pressey, A T Lombard, L E Beckley, K Gjerde, R Bustamante, H P Possingham and A J Richardson, ‘Pelagic Protected Areas: The Missing Dimension in Ocean Conservation’ (2009) 24(7) Trends in Ecology & Evolution 360–369, doi:10.1016/j.tree.2009.01.011; K D Hyrenbach, K A Forney, and P K Dayton, ‘Marine Protected Areas and Ocean Basin Management’ (2000) 10 Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 437–458; H S Young, S M Maxwell, M G Conners and S A Shaffer, ‘Pelagic Marine Protected Areas Protect Foraging Habitat for Multiple Breeding Seabirds in the Central Pacific’ (2015) 181 Biological Conservation 226–235, doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2014.10.027; S M Maxwell and L E Morgan, ‘Examination of Pelagic Marine Protected Area Management With Recommendations for the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument’ (2012) Marine Conservation Institute, available at: https://marine-conservation.org/media/filer_public/2012/11/21/pri_mpa_mgmt_report_-_final.pdf; D Kaplan, E Chassot, A Gruss and A Fonteneau, ‘Pelagic
L E Morgan, S M Maxwell and N C Ban, ‘Pragmatic Approaches for Effective Management of Pelagic Marine Protected Areas’ (2014) 26 Endangered Species Research 59–74. doi:10.3354/esr00617; Young et al. (n 44); Game et al. (n 44); B H Robison, ‘Conservation of Deep Pelagic Biodiversity’ (2009) 23(4) Conservation Biology 847–858. doi:10.1111/j.1523–1739.2009.01219.x.
A Grüss et al., ‘Relative Impacts of Adult Movement, Larval Dispersal and Harvester Movement on the Effectiveness of Reserve Networks’ (2011) 6(5) PLoS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019960 [note: this paper has ~150 authors, hence citation shows only first author]; W J F Le Quesne and E A Codling, ‘Managing Mobile Species with
Ibid. Similarly, Torres-Irineo et al. (n 44) reviewed both an area-based moratorium on fisheries aggregation devices (
See, e.g., The Pew Charitable Trusts, ‘Policy Priorities for the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’ (2016), available at http://www.iotc.org/sites/default/files/documents/2016/05/OTC-2016-S20-NGO05_-_PEW_Position_Statement_2016_0.pdf; accessed 25 February 2017.
See, e.g., Rieser et al. (2013): “the protection of both benthic ecosystems and essential fish habitat (
See, e.g., M W Lodge, D Anderson, T Løbach, G Munro, K Sainsbury and A Wilock, ‘Recommended Best Practices for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations’ (Chatham House, London, 2007), available at https://www.oecd.org/sd-roundtable/papersandpublications/39374297.pdf; accessed 25 February 2017; J A Ardron, M R Clark, A J Penney, T F Hourigan, A Rowden, P K Dunstan, L Watling, T M Shank, D M Tracey, M R Dunn and S J Parker, ‘A Systematic Approach towards the Identification and Protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems’ (2014) 49 Marine Policy 146–154, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2013.11.017.
Council Regulation (
J M Portela, G J Pierce, J L del Río, M Sacau, T Patrocinio and R Vilela, ‘Preliminary Description of the Overlap between Squid Fisheries and
M Gianni, D Currie, S Fuller, L Speer, J Ardron, B Weeber, M Gibson, G Roberts, K Sack, S Owen and A Kavanagh, ‘Unfinished Business: A Review of the Implementation of the Provisions of United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 61/105 and 64/72, Related to the Management of Bottom Fisheries in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction’ (Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, 2011), available at: http://www.savethehighseas.org/publicdocs/DSCC_review11.pdf (citing personal communication from Carmen Paz Marti, Ministry of the Environment, Spain).
European Union, ‘EU Report on the Implementation of Measures Pertaining to the Protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems from the Impact of Bottom Fishing on the High Seas in
New Zealand Government, ‘Report on New Zealand’s Implementation of Operative Paragraphs 80 and 83–90 of Resolution 61/105’ at pp. 7–12, available at http://www.un.org/depts/los/general_assembly/contributions_fisheries/new_zealand.pdf; accessed 25 February 2017.
Ibid. at p. 8. Additional precautionary closures of representative blocks in the moderately and heavily trawled areas may be implemented and further blocks may be closed in any area found to contain significant evidence of
A Penney, J Andrew, and J Guinotte. ‘Evaluation of New Zealand’s High-Seas Bottom Trawl Closures Using Predictive Habitat Models and Quantitative Risk Assessment’ (2013) 8(12) PLoS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082273.
A Penney, S Parker, and J Brown, ‘Protection Measures Implemented by New Zealand for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean’ (2009) 397 Marine Ecology Progress Series 341–354, doi:10.3354/meps08300.
Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Canberra, 20 May 1980, in force 7 April 1982) 1329 UNTS 48.
U R Sumaila, D Zeller, R Watson, J Alder and D Pauly, ‘Potential Costs and Benefits of Marine Reserves in the High Seas’ (2007) 345 Marine Ecology Progress Series 305–310, doi:10.3354/meps07065; The level of protection may vary depending on the pressures on the area to be protected and on the conservation needs. Some
See, e.g., The Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) available at: https://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/WSSD_POI_PD/English/WSSD_PlanImpl.pdf; accessed 7 July 2017; The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 (‘Aichi Targets’), available at: https://www.cbd.int/doc/strategic-plan/2011-2020/Aichi-Targets-EN.pdf; accessed 7 July 2017 (target 11 states: “By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscape and seascapes”.; and the Rio+20 “Future We Want” outcome document (
United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme, Resolution 2/10: Oceans and Seas, UNEP/EA.2/Res.10 (2016).
D Johnson, J Ardron, D Billett, T Hooper and T Muller, “An Assessment of the Ecological Coherence of the
Agreement concerning the creation of a marine mammal sanctuary in the Mediterranean, adopted in Rome, Italy, 25 November 1999. See: https://www.tethys.org/activities-overview/conservation/pelagos-sanctuary/; accessed 6 July 2017.
S Christiansen, ‘Background Document for the High Seas
P Mayol, H Labach, J Couvat, D Ody and P Robert, ‘Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (
Interestingly, Bermuda is also engaged in the establishment of a proposed marine reserve that will encompass much of its
See Sargasso Sea Alliance website, http://www.sargassoalliance.org/about-the-alliance; accessed 25 February 2017. See also Freestone et al. (n 78); and D Freestone and K Gjerde, ‘Lessons from the Sargasso Sea: Challenges to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction’ (
Decision Adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its Eleventh Meeting, xi/17. Marine and Coastal Biodiversity: Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas,
Revised guidelines for the identification and designation of particularly sensitive sea areas. A 24/ Res.982, 6 February 2006.
J Roberts, A Chircop, and S Prior, ‘Area-Based Management on the High Seas: Possible Application of the
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (London, 2 November 1973, in force 2 October 1983) 1340 UNTS 184 (MARPOL 73/78). For example, eight Special Areas under Annex v on garbage discharges have been adopted, two include high seas areas (the Mediterranean and the Antarctic) (see http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/SpecialAreasUnderMARPOL/Pages/Default.aspx; accessed 25 February 2017).
The adoption of routeing measures should take into account the
Resources are defined as “all solid, liquid or gaseous mineral resources in situ in the Area at or beneath the seabed, including polymetallic nodules”. The resources to which the ISA’s mandate for exploitation extends do not include the biological and genetic resources of the Area.
Agreement relating to the implementation of Part xi of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (New York, 28 July 1994, in force 28 July 1996) 1836 UNTS 3.
ISBA/17/LTC/WP.1, Draft environmental management plan for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, 28 January 2011, adopted 22 July 2012, ISBA/18/C/22; ISA. Decision of the Council relating to an environmental management plan for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. 2012. ISBA/18C/22; available at http://www.isa.org.jm/files/documents/EN/18Sess/Council/ISBA-18C-22.pdf; accessed 25 February 2017.
Decision of the Council of the International Seabed Authority relating to amendments to the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area and related matters. 2013; ISBA/19/C/17; Section V.31.6.
Impact reference zones are “areas to be used for assessing the effect of each contractor’s activities in the Area on the marine environment and which are representative of the environmental characteristics of the area”. Preservation reference zones are “areas in which no mining shall occur to ensure representative and stable biota of the seabed in order to assess any changes in the flora and fauna of the marine environment”. Regulation 31(7).
Decision of the Council of the International Seabed Authority relating to amendments to the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area and related matters ISBA/19/C/17 and Decision of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority regarding the amendments to the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area ISBA/19/A/9; Decision of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority relating to the regulations on prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Area ISBA/16/A/12/Rev.1; Decision of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority relating to the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Cobalt-rich Ferromanganese Crusts in the Area ISBA/18/A/11. See http://www.isa.org.jm/mining-code/Regulations; accessed February 2017.
Regulation 2(2). These regulations apply to prospecting and exploration only, and it remains to be seen whether eventual regulations on the exploitation of these resources will contain similar provisions.