Category Archives: State Practice

USA/Russia: two-way routes in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea jointly proposed

The United States of America, together with the Russian Federation, have proposed a system of two-way routes for vessels to follow in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea. This joint proposal features the establishment of six two-way routes and six precautionary areas. The proposed two-way routes will be voluntary for all domestic and international ships. No additional aids to navigation are being proposed to mark the recommended two-way routes and the routing measures do not limit commercial fishing or subsistence activities. More information is available here

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India: cooperation with ASEAN in the maritime domain envisaged

India and the ASEAN countries have agreed to set up a mechanism on maritime cooperation to counter the common challenges they face in the maritime domain. The information was confirmed at a press briefing press briefing. This intention follows the Delhi declaration of the ASEAN-INDIA commemorative summit, which reaffirmed “the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, and other lawful uses of the seas and unimpeded lawful maritime commerce and to promote peaceful resolutions of disputes” and the support of the signatories to the “full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC)”. That declaration may be found here.

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Friends of Ocean Action and High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy launched

During the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, a multi-stakeholder partnership, Friends of Ocean Action, was announced, 25 January 2018, with the objective “to help shape global action to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14”. For more information, see here.

At the same time, the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, announced a High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy, “which will be made up of heads of state and government from a broad range of coastal states, including developing countries”. For more information, see here.

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China: Arctic Policy white paper published

On the 26 January 2018, the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China released a white paper, entitled, China’s Arctic Policy. China defines itself as a “Near-Arctic State” before setting out its policy goals.

For more information see the full text here.

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WCPFC: 14th Regular Session adopts minimum standards for port state measures

The 14th Regular Session of the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) adopted a series of Conservation and Management Measures (CMMs), including CMM 2017-02, Conservation and Management Measure on minimum standards for Port State Measures, issued the 7 December 2017. Bar the provisional application of CMM 2017-01 (1 January 2018), the CMMs are set to enter into force 6 February 2018.

For more information, see here.

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Australia: ship master convicted and fined for entering no-go zone

A master of a coastal trading vessel was convicted and fined in Australia’s Cairns Magistrates Court for being in charge of a ship that entered a shipping exclusion area in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The master pleaded guilty to entering an exclusion zone near the Turtle Group of Islands, 28km northwest of Cape Flattery, in November 2015. Under the Marine Park legislation, ships must only travel in designated shipping areas or general use zones to protect the marine environment, and commercial ships are monitored for their compliance. More information about this case may be found here.

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Arctic: commercial fishing moratorium agreement signed

The member states of the informal group “Arctic-five” (Canada, USA, Russia, Norway, and Greenland/Denmark), together with representatives of other states (Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union)  have reached agreement on a legally binding international agreement that will protect nearly three million square kilometers of the Central Arctic Ocean from unregulated fishing. The initial term of the agreement is 16 years, after which it will automatically be extended every five years unless a country objects or until science-based fisheries quotas and rules are put in place. The NGO Ocean Conservancy has referred to this as an example of the precautionary approach. This accord comes two years after a previously set moratorium. Evidence of this new agreement may be found here: (Canada) (Norway) (EU).

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