The international straits of the world have generated intense demands and claims since the advent of seafaring and the early development of the Law of the Sea. Demands of access and control over these intense spaces continues to implicate the power and wealth of nations and all oceans users. The contemporary normative straits regime is a product of customary law, and specialized and general conventions. The regime regulates the rights and duties of coastal states and vessels over these potential chokepoints and, owing to new demands, it is under enhanced stress. The post-9-11 security environment and the resurgence of piracy have elevated the defense demands of maritime powers and coastal States. Non-state actors, including private armies, have acquired an enhanced capability to limit access to straits. Environmental concerns have created an added dimension of complexity to these narrow shipping lanes where coastal States increasingly demand additional regulatory measures such as mandatory pilotage and designation of PSSAs. The emergence from the current global financial crisis depends upon global trade including petroleum shipping. Most of that trade moves through the restricted ship operating areas of densely trafficked straits. Thus the public order of the oceans depends upon international straits for navigation, power and wealth. At no point in history has the erosion or reinforcement of straits norms been more critical for the world community.
This is the key moment to re-launch the series,
The International Straits of the World. Books in the series will present (1) studies of individual geographic straits, and (2) studies of straits grouped by shared functions and problems. The re-launched series will revise or rewrite certain previously published books that merit more contemporary appraisal and add new straits studies.