Category Archives: Non-governmental Organizations

NGO: lawsuit launched to protect Pacific habitat for humpback whales

The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation filed a notice of intent to sue the USA National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals are said to be facing threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills. The document, entitled “Violations of the Endangered Species Act; Failure to Designate Critical Habitat for Distinct Population Segments of Humpback Whales (Megaptera noveangliae)” 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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Peru: MoU signed with Global Fishing Watch Inc

Peru has become the second state (following Indonesia) to sign a memorandum of understanding with Global Fishing Watch Inc to establish a framework for cooperation. Peru will be sharing information upon its commercial fishing fleets through the Global Fishing Watch system.

Announced, 27 September 2017, Peru also signaled a further framework cooperative agreement with Oceana (NGO) and ratification of the 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA). Peru will implement the PSMA as of October.

For more information, see the press release here, and Global Fishing Watch here.

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ITLOS: Judgment on the Ghana/Côte d’Ivoire Dispute

The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, constituted to deal with the Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean (Ghana/Côte d’Ivoire), delivered its Judgment. Among other points, it unanimously rejected Ghana’s claim that Côte d’Ivoire is estopped from objecting to the “customary equidistance boundary” and it found that Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights of Côte d’Ivoire. The Award may found here. A reaction by Tullow Oil plc, who explores the Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN) oil fields on Ghana’s side of the delimitation line, may be found here.


The single maritime boundary, taken from the Judgment (p. 150).

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ITF: criminalisation toolkit for seafarer unions

The International Transport Workers’ Federation has produced a toolkit for its seafarer unions to help them lobby governments to implement international guidelines to prevent the unfair treatment of seafarers following accidents and pollution at sea. The toolkit highlights cases where seafarers have been scapegoated for accidents and pollution which have arisen as a result of circumstances beyond their control. The toolkit is available here.

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ICPC: recommendation on submarine cable operations in deep seabed mining

On the 23 June 2017, the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) has issued Recommendation No. 17, entitled, Submarine Cable Operations in Deep Seabed Mining Concessions Designated by the International Seabed Authority. ICPC Recommendation No. 17 provides procedures for due diligence in the laying and repair of submarine cables in concessions designated by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for the exploration and/or exploitation of mineral resources in the “Area”.

For more information see the press release and requests for the recommendation can be made here.

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World Oceans Day 2017

World Oceans Day is celebrated 8 June 2017, under the coordination of The Ocean Project. This year’s theme is, Our Oceans, Our Future, and events around the world will occur in the week surrounding the 8 June 2017.

For more information, see the host of events listed here.


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