Monthly Archives: February 2018

CJEU: EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement not applicable to Western Sahara adjacent waters

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has delivered its judgment in Case C-266/16 (The Queen, on the application of Western Sahara Campaign UK v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). It has decided that if the territory of Western Sahara were to be included within the scope of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement, that would be contrary to certain rules of general international law that are applicable in relations between the EU and Morocco, inter alia the principle of self-determination. It has also held that, taking account of the fact that the territory of Western Sahara does not form part of the territory of Morocco, the waters adjacent to the territory of Western Sahara are not part of the Moroccan fishing zone referred to in that Agreement. The judgement may be found here. The opinion of advocate general Wathelet is available here.

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European Commission’s six charts showing the extent of the fishing zones, used in the Opinion of the Advocate General Wathelet, delivered on 10 January 2018.

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Philippines: Objection and nonrecognition of Chinese names for Benham Rise features

On the 14 February 2018 the Philippines Presidential Spokesperson issued a statement objecting to the submissions by China of names for undersea features in the “Benham Rise”, submitted to the Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) of the International Hydrographic Organization. The Philippines will not recognize these names. During a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, 26 February 2018, a reason for the objection was the violation of the Philippines’ sovereign rights, resulting from the lack of consent given to undertake the hydrographic surveys at the basis of the submissions.

For more information see the press releases, here, here, here, here, and SCUFN here. At the time of writing, a video of the hearing was available:

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Seychelles: Two new marine protected areas announced in ‘debt-for conservation’ deal

The Seychelles announced two new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering 210,000 square kilometers (81,000 square miles), 21 February 2018. The MPAs were created as part of the first ever debt-for-conservation deal, designed by The Nature Conservancy. MPAs includes 74,400 sq. km surrounding the Aldabra Group, and 136,000 sq. km between the Amirantes Group and Fortune Bank. $21.6 million of sovereign debt was purchased at a discount, with repayments now made at more favourable terms to the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT).

For more information, see The Nature Conservancy press release and Marine Spatial Plan Phase 1 documentation.

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Lebanon: USA mediation in maritime boundary dispute with Israel rejected

The President of the Lebanese Parliament has rejected the mediation of the United States of America in the issue with Israel concerning maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea. His declaration may be found here (in Arabic). This follows the exclusive licensing of two oil blocks in a disputed area to a private consortium by the Lebanese Minister of Energy. Yet Israel maintains claims to oil deposits in that region as well. The USA Secretary of State has on this matter affirmed that this “is an extremely important issue to Lebanon” and that “it’s important to Israel as well, to come to some agreement so that private companies can go to work offshore and determine what, in fact, might be available in terms of natural resource development”. One of the members of the consortium that has been licensed by Lebanon to explore blocks in the disputed area affirms that they “are fully aware of the Israeli-Lebanese border dispute in the southern part of the block that covers only very limited area (less than 8% of the block’s surface)”. Their press release may be found here.

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The blocks awarded to the consortium of Total (operator, 40%), ENI (40%) and Novatek (20%) in the frame of the 1st offshore licensing round, launched by the Lebanese government in January 2017. (source: http://www.total.com)

 

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UK: Fisheries management (post-Brexit) POSTnote published

The UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) has published a POSTnote, entitled, UK Fisheries Management, 21 February 2018. The POSTnote focuses on marine capture fisheries, including future challenges.

For more information, see here.

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Conference: New knowledge and changing circumstances in the law of the sea

The Law of the Sea Institute of Iceland and the Korea Maritime Institute shall host a conference, entitled, New Knowledge and Changing Circumstances in the Law of the Sea28-30 June 2018, at the University of Iceland (Reykjavik, Iceland).

For more information, see here.

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Summer School: Introduction to the international law of the sea

Utrecht University will host a summer school, entitled, Introduction to the International Law of the Sea, 27-31 August 2018, in Utrecht (The Netherlands). Applications are open until 18 August 2018.

For more information, see the programme and registration page. Participants may also be interested in the Law and Sustainability summer course.

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