1 International law has been involved in the regulation of navigation and fishing since the earliest times. It was the voyages of discovery of the 15th and 16th centuries that led to claims of ownership by States such as Spain and Portugal over the newly discovered areas, including exclusive rights to the high seas, resulting in these States claiming control over vast areas of ocean space. Such excessive claims gave rise to disputes with other trading nations who demanded access to the seas and the freedom of trade with other nations by maintaining that the seas...
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