Baltic Sea: maritime boundary agreement between Denmark and Poland reached

Denmark and Poland have agreed on a maritime boundary that, once it enters into force, will delimit the Continental Shelfs and the Exclusive Economic Zones of the two countries in the Baltic Sea, south of Bornholm. The disputed area is approximately 3.600 km2. It is the last outstanding delimitation in the area of Bornholm. The maritime boundaries between Bornholm and Sweden were settled in 1984 and between Bornholm and Germany in 1988. The joint press statement may be found here and here.

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UK: Fisheries Bill first reading

The UK Government has introduced to the UK House of Commons the Fisheries Bill (Bill 278), its first reading being held 25 October 2018. As summarized in the Explanatory Notes (para. 1), “[t]he Fisheries Bill (the Bill) will provide the legal framework for the United Kingdom to operate as an independent coastal state under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) after the UK has left the European Union (EU) and the Common Fisheries Policy (the CFP)”.

For more information see the Fisheries Bill (as introduced)Explanatory Notes, Delegated Powers Memorandum and press release.

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Our Ocean 2018

The Government of the Republic of Indonesia is hosting the fifth Our Ocean Conference in Bali on 29 and 30 October 2018. The event is focused on generating commitments and taking actions to maintain the sustainability of our oceans. Since 2014, Our Ocean Conference has generated commitments totalling around 18 billion dollars (USD) and 12.4 million square kilometers of marine protected areas. More information about this event is available here. The live broadcast of the event may be found below.

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IMO: ban on non-compliant fuel oil carriage adopted

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an amendment to support consistent implementation of the forthcoming 0.50% limit on sulphur in ships fuel oil. The complementary MARPOL amendment will prohibit the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil for combustion purposes for propulsion or operation on board a ship – unless the ship has an exhaust gas cleaning system (“scrubber”) fitted. Installing a scrubber is accepted by flag States as an alternative means to meet the sulphur limit requirement. The complementary amendment is expected to enter into force on 1 March 2020. The  press release of the IMO is available here.

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Arctic: Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean signed

On the 3 October 2018, the United States, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, the European Union, Iceland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Norway, the People’s Republic of China, and the Russian Federation signed the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAOF Agreement). The agreement covers approximately 2.8 million square kilometers and will establish and operate a Joint Program of Scientific Research and Monitoring (art. 4). Unregulated fishing in the high seas of the central Arctic Ocean is prohibited for 16 years following entry into force (arts. 3, 11, 13). Sedentary species are not included (art. 1).

See further, the CAOF Agreement, and statements by the EU, USA and Russia.

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Call for abstracts: The 6th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop

The Department of Fisheries of the Government of Thailand will host the 6th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop, entitled, CLOSING THE NET: Global cooperation between flag, coastal, port and market states for effective enforcement of international and domestic law18-22 February 2019 (Bangkok, Thailand). Nominations are accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

For further information see the prospectus and call for abstracts.

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ICJ: Judgment in the case concerning Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile) delivered

The International Court of Justice delivered its Judgment in the case concerning Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile). In its Judgment, the Court finds that Chile did not undertake a legal obligation to negotiate a sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean for Bolivia. The Court noted that “the statement by Bolivia, when signing UNCLOS, that referred to “negotiations on the restoration to Bolivia of its own sovereign outlet to the Pacific Ocean” did not imply the allegation of the existence of any obligation for Chile in that regard” and that “acquiescence cannot be considered a legal basis of an obligation to negotiate Bolivia’s sovereign access to the sea”. The full text of the Judgment is available here.

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