The Seamounts of the Sargasso Sea: Adequately Protected?

Daniela Diz Pereira Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-370
JournalThe International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Volume31
Issue number2
Early online date3 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2016

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