Author Archives: N.F. Coelho

Workshop: Utilization of genetic resources and the Nagoya Protocol

The UVIGO Marine Research Centre (CIM-UVIGO) is holding a workshop entitled: Utilization of genetic resources and the Nagoya Protocol: legal framework and practical cases of application in the marine field (Utilización de recursos genéticos y Protocolo de Nagoya: marco legal y casos prácticos de aplicación en el ámbito marino). This workshop is part of the EBB project (European Blue Biobank), aimed at facilitating access to marine biological resources. The event is set to happen on 14 February 2020, in Vigo (Spain). Registration forms and the program of the event (in Spanish) can be found here.

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Vacancy: research position at the University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania (Australia) accepts expressions of interest and applications for the project Evaluation of governance and economic measures to prevent and deter Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. This interdisciplinary project will evaluate the effectiveness of economic and policy tools that governments and international organisations utilise to deter and prevent IUU fishing in national jurisdictions and on the high seas. It will examine issues that exacerbate the IUU fishing problem such as vessels flying flags of convenience, the transshipment of catches, and links to organised transnational criminal activities.

Closing date is 31 March 2020. The vacancy can be found here.

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Call for abstracts: Sustainable Ocean Project

The Sustainable Ocean Project is holding its final conference on 3-4 September 2020 in Utrecht (the Netherlands). This project has been dealing with the following overarching research question since 2015: how can the law contribute to the sustainable use of the oceans and strike a balance between competing interests at sea? 

The conference will be structured around four interrelated themes:

  1. Due diligence as obligation and/or balancing standard;
  2. Balancing principles in international law interpretation;
  3. The role of regionalism in the accommodation of multiple interests;
  4. The role of state consent and the participation of other actors in international law-making and law implementation.

Abstracts are accepted until 30 March 2020. More information is available here.

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UK/USA: agreement concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic enters into force

The agreement concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic signed by the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA) has entered into force. This treaty was signed in 2003 by the United Kingdom, but was only accepted by the United States of America on 18 November 2019. Among other obligations, the treaty posits that

Each Party shall take the necessary measures, in respect of its nationals and vessels flying its flag, to regulate through a system of project authorizations:

(a) entry into the hull sections of RMS Titanic so that they, other artifacts and any human remains are not disturbed; and
(b) activities aimed at the artifacts from RMS Titanic found outside the hull of the wreck so that all such activities are, to the maximum extent practicable, conducted in accordance with the Rules.

This treaty strengthens the basic level of protection for the wreck afforded by UNESCO since 2012. Lying in international waters, the wreck was previously not protected by explicit legislation. The text of the treaty can be found here. More information is available here.

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Morocco: maritime delimitation bills approved

The Parliament of Morocco (Commission des Affaires étrangères, de la défense nationale, des affaires islamiques et des Marocains résidant à l’étranger à la Chambre des représentants) has approved (16 December 2019) two bills (projets de loi) concerning the delimitation of maritime zones. The projet de loi n° 37.17 alters the previous legislation on the territorial waters, updating existing baselines with more recently surveyed data; the projet de loi n° 38.17 alters previous legislation concerning the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. Both bills were first presented in 2017 and they apply to the waters adjacent to the Southern Provinces of Morocco, located within a Non-Self Governing Territory listed under Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations as “Western Sahara“.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco has stated that these initiatives “do not mean the unavailability of Morocco for a solution to any possible conflict with its neighbours Spain and Mauritania”. This statement is available here (in French). In response, the Government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic published a statement saying that the “unilateral Moroccan act to claim Western Sahara maritime zones is null and void”. This statement is available here.

*** Update 2020/04/07: Bills 37.17 and 38.17 have been turned into laws. The laws were published in the Official Bulletin on 30 March 2020. ***

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PCA: The Duzgit Integrity Arbitration (Malta v. São Tomé and Príncipe) Award on Reparation delivered

The Tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in the matter of the Duzgit Integrity Arbitration has issued its final Award on Reparation in respect of the dispute between Malta and São Tomé e Príncipe (18 December 2019). These proceedings concerned the arrest by São Tomé of a Maltese flagged vessel – the Duzgit Integrity – when it attempted to undertake a ship-to-ship (“STS”) cargo transfer in São Tomé’s archipelagic waters, and the subsequent measures taken by São Tomé in relation to the vessel, its master, cargo, owner and charterer.

This Final Award follows a previous Award delivered by the PCA (see De Maribus report here). Following the issuance of the Tribunal’s 5 September 2016 Award, the proceedings were temporarily suspended while the Parties pursued settlement negotiations, which were ultimately unsuccessful. In its present Award on Reparation, the Tribunal scrutinizes Malta’s claim for reparation and orders São Tomé to pay compensation in respect of certain of Malta’s heads of claim, in particular by addressing the following:

  • Whether Malta has sufficiently substantiated its claims and established causation between its loss and São Tomé’s unlawful conduct;
  • Whether the settlement agreement mitigates any of the damages suffered by DS tankers;
  • Whether the acts and omissions of the Duzgit integrity, its master, owner and charterer mitigate any of the damages claimed by Malta.

More information about this case can be found here.

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CJEU: Advocate General in Slovenia v Croatia (Case C-457/18) declines jurisdiction

Advocate General Priit Pikamäe proposes the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to declare that it does not have jurisdiction to hear an action brought by Slovenia, who submits that Croatia is preventing it from fully exercising its sovereignty throughout its maritime territory. The Advocate General is of the view that the delimitation of national territory does not fall within the sphere of competence of the European Union or of the CJEU (CJEU press release of 11 December 2019).

Both parties submitted a territorial and maritime boundary dispute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), who issued a Final Award determining the creation of a “Junction Area” and setting the terms of the special regime to apply therein. The PCA emphasized that this special regime is intended to guarantee both the integrity of Croatia’s territorial sea and Slovenia’s freedoms of communication between its territory and the high seas (PCA press release of 29 June 2017). Croatia decided to withdraw from the 2009 Arbitration Agreement in 29 July 2015 and later stated that this award “does not in any way bind Croatia and Croatia shall not implement it” (Croatia Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs press release of 29 June 2017).

In its action brought to the CJEU (2018/C 399/27) on 13 July 2018, Slovenia argues that Croatia “unilaterally refuses to fulfil its obligations under the arbitration award”, namely in “denying Slovenian fishing vessels free access to the marine waters which the arbitration award of 2017 has defined as Slovene, and, a fortiori, free access to Croatian waters falling within the scope of the mutual access regime”.

More information on Case C-457/18 shall be made available here.

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The “Junction Area”, as determined by the PCA in 2017. Source: PCA Case No. 2012-04, at page 347

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ICC: Final Decision on the “Situation on the Registered Vessels of Comoros, Greece and Cambodia” re-filed

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor has re-filed the Final Decision (2 December 2019) concerning the “Article 53(1) Report” (ICC-01/13-6-AnxA), as revised and refiled, on the Situation on the Registered Vessels Of The Union Of The Comoros, The Hellenic Republic, And The Kingdom Of Cambodia (ICC-01/13).

The Prosecutor maintains her view that the preliminary examination of this situation must be closed and argues that “there remains no reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, since there is no reasonable basis to conclude that any potential case arising from the situation would be of sufficient gravity to be admissible before the Court”. This decision was taken without prejudice to her conclusion that, “on the information made available, there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed by members of the Israel Defence Forces (“IDF”) in the boarding of the Mavi Marmara, and its aftermath, resulting in 10 fatalities, the wounding of as many as 55 people, and outrages upon the personal dignity of potentially many others during the voyage to Ashdod”.

Although Israel is not a State Party, according to article 12(2)(a) of the Rome Statute, the ICC can exercise its jurisdiction in relation to the conduct of non-Party State nationals alleged to have committed Rome Statute crimes on the territory of, or on vessels and aircraft registered in, an ICC State Party. More information is available here.

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Iceland: use of heavy fuel oil in the territorial sea banned

The Government of Iceland (Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources) has issued a regulation tightening fuel requirements for ships, which effectively bans the use of heavy fuel oil in the territorial sea of Iceland. The change is brought about by an amendment to Iceland’s regulation on sulphur content of certain liquid fuels (reglu­gerð nr. 124/​2015). The permissible sulphur content of marine fuels used in the territorial sea and internal waters of Iceland is lowered from 3.5% down to 0.1%. In addition, the permissible sulphur content of marine fuels is lowered down to 0.5% within the Icelandic Pollution Prevention Zone outside of the territorial sea. More information here.

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Vacancy: PhD scholarship at UNSW Sydney

The UNSW Sydney is offering a PhD scholarship for research in the Law of the Sea. This scholarship is available to participate in a project addressing the enhancement of maritime security through informal lawmaking. Preference will be given to proposals that have a multilateral or regional perspective rather than focusing on the law and policy of one particular country. Multidisciplinary perspectives on the issues being assessed are encouraged. Deadline for applications is 4 February 2020. More information is available here.

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Turkey/Libya: MoU on EEZ delimitation signed

Turkey and Libya have signed (27 November 2019) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the delimitation of the maritime jurisdiction areas in the Mediterranean.

The MFA of Greece considered (28 November 2019) that “the signing by Turkey and Libya of a memorandum of understanding cannot violate the sovereign rights of third countries” and that “such an action would be a flagrant violation of the International Law of the Sea and would produce no legal effect”. The Minister also noted that “between the two countries there is the large geographical mass of Crete”.

In response, the MFA of Turkey stated (1 December 2019) that “islands cannot have a cut-off effect on the coastal projection of Turkey” and that “the islands which lie on the wrong side of the median line between two mainlands cannot create maritime jurisdiction areas beyond their territorial waters and that the length and direction of the coasts should be taken into account in delineating maritime jurisdiction areas”.

Turkey had submitted earlier in the month (13 November 2019) to the UN a list of geographical coordinates, concerning the outer limits of Turkey’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, where Turkey exercises ipso facto and ab initio exclusive sovereign rights and jurisdiction stemming from international law (A/74/550).

Turkey has not signed the UNCLOS and has opposed the new international legal regime of islands during UNCLOS III in two occasions (160th meeting and 189th meeting).

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Base points for Turkey-Libya Continental Shelf/EEZ Coordinates List. Source: T.C. Resmi Gazete, 6 December 2019.

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Workshop: Judicial Settlement under UNCLOS

Le Club de Droit International and the University of Angers, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in The Netherlands, are hosting a discussion on Judicial Settlement under UNCLOS: An insider’s view of ITLOS. The event takes place on 9 December 2019 at the Hague (The Netherlands). More information is available here.

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Daniel Vignes prize (3rd edition)

The International Association for the Law of the Sea (AssIDMer) welcomes applications for its Prix Daniel Vignes (3rd Edition), “a prize for the best article published in a journal or a collective work, to disseminate knowledge of the international law of the sea”. The deadline for applications is 15 May 2020. The prize will be officially awarded during the VIII Ordinary Meeting of the Association in 2020. The call is available here.

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Vacancy: post-doctoral position at Gothenburg University

The Department of Law of the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg is announcing a post-doctoral position in Ocean Governance Law. For the purpose of this position ocean governance is widely construed, so as to include the regulation of human activities pertaining to or directly affecting the utilisation and long-term management of the oceans and their resources. Examples of relevant issue areas are social, economic and ecological aspects of shipping, utilisation and preservation of marine living resources, management of ecosystems under change, and regulatory challenges relating to the introduction of artificial intelligence in a maritime context. Closing date is 20 November 2019. More information is available here.

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Moot Court: Telders 2020

The 43rd Edition of the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition will be held from Thursday 4 June until Saturday 6 June 2020. This year’s case Questions relating to Sovereignty in the Lamma Sea (Quntong v. Discovia) involves issues on the definition of island and rock under international law, as well as the conduct of private vessels and fishing activities on the EEZ. This competition is open to all European university students who are currently enrolled in their bachelors or masters phase of their study. Deadline for registration is 11 November 2019. More information is available here.

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India: ban on single use plastic on board ships imposed

The Government of India (Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai) has issued an Order on the prohibition of use of single use plastics on board ships. This ban is applicable to all Indian ships and to foreign ships in port or within Indian waters. The enforcement shall be undertaken on the basis of flag and port state capacity surveys, inspections and audits.

Surveyors carrying out port state inspection of foreign flag vessels are expected to ensure that single use plastics are not in use and are kept locked in a store during their stay in Indian ports and on their passage through the territorial waters of India. A foreign ship intending to enter an Indian port is required to make a log entry identifying “Single Use Plastic Items” on board the ship. No single use plastic items are to be discharged to port reception facilities at an Indian port. The Order further clarifies that no detention of foreign ships is to be enforced.

DGS Order No. 05 (16 October 2019) is available here.

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EMSA: guidance on ship inspections by port States published

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has published a new guidance on inspections of ships by the Port States in accordance with Regulation 1257/2013 on Ship Recycling (SRR). The aim of this EMSA guidance is to assist the Member States and their designated inspectors in their efforts to fulfil the requirements of SRR and Port State Control (PSC) Directive, in relation to inspections covering the respective requirements of these two instruments. It is a reference document that provides both technical information and procedural guidance thus contributing to harmonised implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the SRR and the PSC Directive. The Guidance is available here.

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Call for papers: EU contribution to the protection of biological resources in marine areas of international interest

The Spanish Association of International Law and International Relations Professors (AEPDIRI), together with the University of Córdoba, is accepting paper submissions for a conference entitled The European Union’s contribution to the protection of biological resources in marine areas of international interest.

The event shall have a special focus on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction. A first panel will address the protection of fishery resources in the exclusive economic zone, assessing whether the EEZ has served the purpose of preserving marine living resources. A second panel will examine the protection of fishery resources in the high seas from a regulatory and practical perspective. A third panel will focus on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including the UNCLOS instrument currently under negotiation. A fourth panel will study the environmental problems affecting the protection of biological resources in the polar areas.

The papers must be submitted before 8 December 2019. The event is set to happen in Córdoba, Spain, on 16-17 April 2020. The program is available here.

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Conference: The Dynamics of Disputes over Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing

The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, together with the University of Geneva, is organizing a conference entitled The Dynamics of Disputes over Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing: Regime Convergence and Lex Ferenda. The conference begins with an assessment of the legal scope of IUU Fishing disputes, and concludes with proposals for improving the management of these disputes in light of the dispute settlement frameworks discussed over the course of two days: institutions for global and regional cooperation, international courts and tribunals, and domestic jurisdictions. The event is set to happen 28-29 November 2019 in Luxembourg. More information is available here; the provisional program can be found here.

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PhD Course: Marine Governance and Maritime Spatial Planning

Aalborg University is offering a PhD course entitled Marine Governance and Maritime Spatial Planning: theories and practices. It is an introduction to current issues and debates in marine governance and MSP that are discussed in social scientific literature, such as regionalization, authority at sea, governing new economic activities in weak institutional settings (such as deep-sea mining and the Arctic), power, equity and participation. This course is set to last for three days, from 30 October 2019 to 1 November 2019, and is equivalent to 3 ECTS. Registration is open until 9 October 2019. More information is available here.

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ITLOS: Mauritius/Maldives dispute submitted to special chamber

The Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Maldives transmitted a special agreement and notification to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to submit their dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean to a special chamber of the Tribunal to be constituted pursuant to article 15, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Tribunal. The Parties agreed to transfer the arbitral proceedings instituted on 18 June 2019 by Mauritius under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to a special chamber of the Tribunal. The Special Agreement, the Order and the press release are available here.

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Sustainable Ocean Summit 2019

The World Ocean Council is presenting another edition of the Sustainable Ocean Summit, themed “Investing In Ocean Futures: Finance and Innovation for the Blue Economy”. This year’s event will take place in Paris, France, on November 20-22, 2019. Aside from plenary sessions, the summit will also feature workshops; one of them is entitled Assessing Threat, Risk and Environmental Impacts to Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: Solutions, Best Practices and International Collaboration. Side events may also be proposed to the organizers. The program of the event is available here.

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Workshop: Les îles et le droit international

The Université Paris 8 is hosting a workshop entitled Les îles et le droit international“(Islands and International Law). The event includes presentations on new islands, territorial sovereignty, artificial islands and environmental/cultural risks. The event is set to happen in Paris, France, on 30 September 2019. More information is available here.

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Conference: MSP Forum “global meets regional”

VASAB, IOC UNESCO, EC DG-MARE and Pan Baltic Scope are organizing the 4th Maritime Spatial Planning Forum. This event is set to happen 19-21 November 2019 in Riga, Latvia. The focus will be on global and regional MSP topics, including the results and findings of Pan Baltic Scope collaboration. Interactive workshops, plenaries and key-notes will give an opportunity to look at different MSP practices and solutions in a global scale. The application to attend is open here until November 1.

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Conference: African Academy of International Law Practice

The African Academy of International Law Practice is organizing a conference entitled “Contentieux Des Espaces Maritimes Africains Dans Tous Ses États” (African maritime spatial disputes in all of its States). The event is set to happen in Paris, France on 25 September 2019. The event will feature eight presentations structured around two panels, the first on maritime disputes and the second on ocean resource management. The programme is available here (in French), and registration is open until 22 September 2019.

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ILC: Study Group on sea-level rise in relation to international law established

The United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) has decided to include the topic “sea-level rise in relation to international law” in its programme of work and established a Study Group. The Study Group will focus on the subject of sea-level rise in relation to the law of the sea. The ILC expects to receive, by 31 December 2019, examples from States of their practice that could be relevant (even if indirectly) to sea-level rise or other changes in circumstances of a similar nature. Such practice could, for example, relate to baselines and where applicable archipelagic baselines, closing lines, low-tide elevations, islands, artificial islands, land reclamation and other coastal fortification measures, limits of maritime zones, delimitation of maritime boundaries, and any other issues relevant to the subject. More information is available here.

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CLCS: Ontong Java Plateau joint claim approved

The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) has approved and endorsed a joint claim from the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. The joint claim over 600,000 square kilometers of additional seabed, on what is known as the Ontong Java Plateau, was lodged in 2009. More information is available here and here.

 Map of final foot of continental slope (FOS) positions in the North and South Regions, received from the Joint Delegation on 26 July 2016. Source: Commission on the Limits
of the Continental Shelf.

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Canada: Tuvaijuittuq MPA designated under Oceans Act

Tuvaijuittuq is the first Marine Protected Area to be designated by ministerial order under the Oceans Act for interim protection. Under the order, no new or additional human activities will be allowed to occur in the area for up to five years, with the following exceptions: the exercise of Inuit rights respecting wildlife harvesting as provided for under the Nunavut Agreement; marine scientific research consistent with the conservation objectives of the MPA; safety, security and emergency activities; certain activities carried out by a foreign national, entity, ship or state. The objective of this MPA is to contribute to the conservation, protection and understanding of the natural diversity, productivity and dynamism of the High Arctic sea ice ecosystem. This MPA encompasses an area of 319 411 km2. More information is available here.

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Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area. Source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

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Guernsey: Bailiwick’s territorial seas extended

The Bailiwick of Guernsey’s territorial seas shall increase in size on 23 July 2019. The current limit of the Bailiwick’s territorial seas is 3 nautical miles (nm) from the baselines. The new limit will be 12 nm. The territorial sea would extend to less than 12 nm wherever the distance between the baselines of the Bailiwick and the baselines of another party (France or Jersey) is less than 24 nm. Fishing access in the waters around the Bailiwick, from 0 to 12 nautical miles, will remain unchanged on the date of extension. The Bailiwick fisheries management regime will also remain the same as it was before extension until any new regime is subsequently agreed. More information is available here.

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Bailiwick of Guernsey maritime boundaries. Source: States of Guernsey.

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ICJ: court seised of dispute between Guatemala and Belize

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), was seised of a dispute between Guatemala and Belize by way of a special agreement. In 2008, the two States concluded an agreement to submit Guatemala’s territorial, insular and maritime claim to the International Court of Justice, which was subsequently amended by a protocol concluded in 2015. The Parties now request the Court to determine in accordance with applicable rules of international law as specified in Article 38(1) of the Statute of the Court any and all legal claims of Guatemala against Belize to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories, to declare the rights therein of both Parties, and to determine the boundaries between their respective territories and areas.

More information on the case and the referenda that led to it can be found in the ICJ press release, at the Belize Referendum Commission website and in a presentation held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala (in Spanish).

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Workshop: Maritime Security of Offshore Activities and Installations

The Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law shall host a workshop entitled Maritime Security and Offshore Activities and Installations: Legal Aspects. The event is set to happen on 20 June 2019 in Bremen, Germany. The programme is available here; more information can be found at the website of the IE-LOS Jean Monnet Chair on International and European Law of the Sea.

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Conference: Balancing stability and flexibility in adapting to future challenges

The KG Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS) is hosting a conference entitled “Balancing stability and flexibility in adapting to future challenges. The conference shall be held in Tromsø, Norway, on 19 – 20 September 2019. One of the discussion panels is entitled “The future of the law of the sea and law of the sea research in the 2020s”. More information, as well as the draft program, is available here

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ITLOS: The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria), Provisional Measures

A request for the prescription of provisional measures under article 290, paragraph 5, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has been submitted to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in a dispute between Switzerland and Nigeria concerning the arrest and detention of the M/T “San Padre Pio”, its crew and cargo. According to the Request of Switzerland of 21 May 2019, the “San Padre Pio”, a motor tanker flying the flag of Switzerland, “was intercepted and arrested by the Nigerian Navy on 23 January 2018” while it was engaged in ship-to-ship transfers of gasoil in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Nigeria. The vessel was then ordered to proceed to Port Harcourt (Nigeria), where it is still detained. Switzerland submits that Nigeria has “breached its obligations owed to Switzerland in regard to its freedom of navigation and its right to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the “San Padre Pio””. The request is available here.

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CLCS: Bouvetøya outer continental shelf limits clarified

The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) has clarified the extent of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles outside Bouvet Island (Bouvetøya). The CLCS recommendation is in line with Norway’s proposal submitted in 2009 and revised in 2015. This means that the Norwegian continental shelf surrounding the island amounts to about 683,730 km2, of which 195,120 km2 is beyond 200 nautical miles. The CLCS recommendation gives Norway a basis for determining the extent of the shelf outside Bouvet Island with binding effect. The Statement by the CLCS Chair, dated 29 March 2019, may be found here.

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The continental shelf at Bouvetøya. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

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Conference: Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction: Intractable Challenges & Potential Solutions

The World Maritime University is hosting the 43rd Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy (COLP), University of Virginia School of Law. The event shall be held in Malmö, Sweden, from 14-17 May 2019. The conference title is Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction: Intractable Challenges & Potential Solutions and it will discuss the development of an internationally legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).  The programme is available here.

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Malaysia-Singapore: overlapping port claims suspended

The Governments of Malaysia and of Singapore have entered an agreement to mutually suspend the implementation of their overlapping port limits and apply their port limits in effect prior to 25 October 2018 and 6 December 2018 respectively. They furthermore agreed to not authorise and to suspend all commercial activities in the area and to not anchor government vessels in the area. The agreement became effective on April 8, 2019. According to a statement issued by representatives of both Governments, negotiations for maritime boundary delimitation in the area are expected to commence within one month following implementation of said agreement. That March 2019 joint statement may be found herehere; a more recent joint statement confirming the schedule is available here / here. The relevant Circulars of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore are here and here.

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Maritime boundaries between Singapore and Malaysia (Source: Singapore Ministry of Transport)

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Summer school: Marco Polo – Zheng He Academy of International Oceans Law and Policy

The South China Sea Institute at Xiamen University is hosting another edition of the Marco Polo – Zheng He Academy of International Oceans Law and Policy (see previous report here). This year’s session happens between 1 and 26 July 2019 in Xiamen, China. The application deadline for the 2019 Xiamen Summer Program is 9 June 2019. More information is available here and here.

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Moot Court: Chinese Society of the Law of the Sea, 2019

The Chinese Society for the Law of the Sea is hosting another edition of its International Law of the Sea Moot Court Competition (see 2018 report here). The 2019 edition will be hosted by the Wuhan University China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies and it is scheduled to take place in early November 2019 in Wuhan, China. Registration deadline is 20 May 2019. More information is available here.

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IMO: FAL Convention amendments on electronic information exchange come into effect

A mandatory requirement for national governments to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports is coming into effect. The requirement, mandatory under IMO’s Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention), is part of a package of amendments under the revised Annex to the FAL Convention, adopted in 2016.  The FAL Convention encourages use of a “single window” for data, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal, without duplication. The FAL Convention amendments make it mandatory for ships and ports to exchange FAL data electronically from 8 April 2019.  More information is available here and here.

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Call for papers: III TRAMEREN’s International Conference

The Transatlantic Maritime Emissions Research Network is welcoming abstract submissions for a conference on Arctic Environmental and Climate Change Governance.  The event will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 11-12, 2019. The conference seeks to explore environmental governance in the Arctic by examining institutions, actors and interactions in emerging issues in Arctic ocean governance, such as conservation of marine living resources, the use of the marine Arctic for extractive industries, climate change impacts, and maritime transport issues. Deadline for submissions is April 20, 2019. More information is available here.

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Norway: Supreme Court decides on catch of snow crab on the Norwegian continental shelf

The Supreme Court of Norway has rejected the appeals of a Russian captain and a Latvian shipping company that was convicted in the Court of Appeal for having caught snow crab without a Norwegian permit. The catch took place in the fish protection zone at Svalbard, on the Norwegian continental shelf. The Supreme Court stated that the snow crab is a sedentary species within the meaning of the UNCLOS, which the coastal state of Norway, under international law, has the exclusive right to exploit. It also understood that the Svalbard Treaty does not prevent penalising the person who catches without permission and that this applies regardless of nationality. The verdict of 14 February 2019 (reference: HR-2019-282-S, case no. 18-064307STR-HRET) may be found here (in Norwegian); an English translation has also been made available here.

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IFLOS Summer Academy 2019

The 13th session of the IFLOS Summer Academy at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea will be held from 21 July to 16 August 2019. Applicants should hold a Master’s degree (LL.M. or equivalent) and have advanced knowledge of public international law, the law of the sea or maritime law. The deadline for the reception of applications is 30 April 2019 (postal). For more information, see here.

Two fellowships for candidates are available under the ISA/Marawa 2019 Training Programme. For more information and to apply, see here.

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Conference: EurOCEAN 2019

The European Marine Board is organising the 2019 edition of the EurOCEAN conference. The event takes place on 11-12 June 2019 at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO in Paris, France. This year’s edition aims to highlight the European marine science needed for the EU Framework Programme Horizon Europe and the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). The draft conference programme is available here. More information is available here.

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Argentina: MPA Yaganes and Namuncurá approved

The Senate of Argentina has approved the creation of two new Marine Protected Areas (MPA), Yaganes and Namuncurá-Banco Burdwood II. These areas are located in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Argentina. Yaganes is approximately 69 thousand km2, while Namuncurá – Banco Burdwood II covers more than 32 thousand km2. The respective legal text (Ley 27490), published 17 December 2018, can be found here (Spanish). The press releases from the Government of Argentina may be found here (Spanish) and here (Spanish). More information about these areas may be found here.

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Location of the National Marine Park of Yaganes and the National Marine Reserves of Namuncurá – Banco Burdwood II. Source: Wildlife Conservation Society

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Call for papers: ESIL Conference, Agora I

The European Society of International Law (ESIL) is hosting its 15th Conference in Athens, Greece on 12-14 September 2019. The theme of the event is “Sovereignty: a concept in flux?” and Agora I, is entitled “Beyond Sovereignty: ABNJ and the LoS”. Possible topics for discussion include the discovery of commercially valuable genetic and biochemical resources, or the use of the Area Based Management Tools, including Marine Protected Areas. The call for papers may be found here. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 31 January 2019. More information is available here.

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Conference: Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean

The OECD, in cooperation with the Portuguese Government, is organising an international conference on Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean: Observatories and Knowledge Networks. The event will take place on 14 February 2019 at the Auditorium of IPMA, Lisbon/Algés, Portugal. The Draft Agenda and Practical Information have already been made available and registration can be done here up until 10 February 2019.  More information on the Ocean Economy Group can be found here.

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Singapore: UNCLOS Article 298 Declaration submitted

The Singapore Government on 12 December 2018 filed a declaration under Article 298(1)(a) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This declaration means that other States Parties to UNCLOS cannot unilaterally commence third party arbitration or adjudication against Singapore in respect of maritime boundary disputes. Singapore likewise cannot unilaterally commence third party arbitration or adjudication against other States Parties for such disputes. A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore on the matter may be found here.

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CBD: new EBSAs in the Baltic agreed to

A final step for nine ecologically unique marine areas in the Baltic Sea to be included in a global registry was taken during the UN Biodiversity Conference held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 17 to 29 November 2018. Altogether, the nine so-called Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) cover 23 percent of the Baltic Sea waters. The new EBSAs were identified in Helsinki earlier in February 2018 during the Baltic EBSA workshop convened by the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. More information is available here.

The nine new EBSAs in the Baltic Sea. Source: HELCOM

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Guinea Bissau-EU: Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreement signed

The European Union and Guinea-Bissau have signed a new Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreement (SFPA) protocol. This protocol will allow the EU fleet to fish in Guinea Bissau waters for a duration of 5 years. The protocol foresees the transition from the current system based on vessel capacity to a system based on catch limits (TAC), applicable for the last three years of the agreement. The protocol also includes improved monitoring, thanks to the introduction of an Electronic Reporting System (ERS), which will become mandatory from the third year on. More information is available here. The protocol agreed to in 2011 may be found here.

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Japan: coastal areas designated under Ramsar Convention

Japan has designated two coastal areas, Shizugawa-wan (Ramsar Site no. 2358) and Kasai Marine Park (Site no. 2357), as Wetlands of International Importance, while extending a third, Lower Maruyama River and the Surrounding Rice Paddies (Site no. 2055), in order to reinforce its conservation value. This designation took place under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. More information is available here

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