In January 2016, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) conferred a higher level of protection from bottom fishing activities on two of the Sargasso Sea seamount chains – the New England Seamounts and the Corner Rise seamounts – when the NAFO Fisheries Commission decisions of September 2015 entered into force. This is an important development in international environmental law and the law of the sea, as it brings together two biodiversity concepts, namely the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs). It also clearly demonstrates the value of these scientific criteria for management decisions. Furthermore, it represents a major success for the Sargasso Sea Commission that was established by the Government of Bermuda in 2014 pursuant to the Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea. This contribution examines the background and context, as well as the outcomes of this significant development in deep-sea conservation, highlighting elements that deserves further consideration.
|Journal||The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law|
|Early online date||3 Jun 2016|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2016|