4 Living Resources and Protection of the Environment on the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles
- Natural resources — Biodiversity — Fisheries — Marine living resources — Pollution — Coastal states — Continental shelf — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)
This chapter explores the issues that arise from coastal State rights over living resources on the continental shelf. As scientific understanding of the ecosystems of the continental shelf has increased, the international community has recognized the need to consider conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity. The chapter describes the range of environmental obligations on coastal States to preserve and protect the marine environment and to take procedural steps to ensure that activities on the continental shelf do not cause harm to another State or to the global commons. These obligations provide the context for discussing the issues involved with exploiting both living and non-living resources on the continental shelf beyond 200 nm. The chapter then discusses some of the challenges facing coastal States in managing and regulating activities focused on the living resources of the continental shelf, including bioprospecting and fishing.