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This chapter critically explores the international legal regime, which operates to regulate marine scientific research. It addresses current and future challenges. More particularly, the first part outlines the general characteristics of this regime. It begins with a brief legislative history to illustrate the factors that have influenced the shape of the current legal framework. It then gives an overview of the current legal framework. The second part considers implementation concerns, as well as some unsettled questions that could lead to potential confusion when the marine scientific research regime is being interpreted and applied in practice. It concludes with some general remarks regarding how marine scientific research can be more effective, a factor of great importance in combatting global ocean threats.
The Challenger expedition, led by British naturalist John Murray and Scottish naturalist Charles Wyville Thompson between 1872 and 1876, is considered to be the first true oceanographic expedition organized to gather data on a wide range of ocean features, including ocean temperatures, currents, marine life and geology of the seafloor.
For brief general background information on the nature of MSR conducted in the oceans see Leary ( 2007), pp. 183–188.
See Leary ( 2007), p. 8.
See Treves ( 2012), para. 5.
The Convention on the High Seas, the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, the Convention on the Continental Shelf and the Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas.
According to article 5 (8): “ the consent of the coastal State shall be obtained in respect of any research concerning the continental shelf and undertaken there. Nevertheless the coastal State shall not normally withhold its consent if the request is submitted by a qualified institution with a view to pure scientific research into the physical or biological characteristics of the continental shelf, subject to the proviso that the coastal State shall have the right, if it so desires, to participate or to be represented in the research, and that in any event the results shall be published”.
For a general discussion see Caflisch and Piccard ( 1978), pp. 848–852.
For further analysis see Stephens and Rothwell ( 2015), p. 563.
Leary ( 2007), p. 191.
For a brief description see de Marffy ( 1985).
UN, DOALOS (hereafter: DOALOS Guide) ( 2010), p. 3.
See Caflisch and Piccard ( 1978), p. 850.
For a brief description of these proposals see Leary ( 2007), pp. 191–193.
See Pancracio ( 2010), p. 377.
For further analysis see Kirk ( 2015).
Article 263 (2).
Article 263 (3).
Article 19 (2).
Article 246 (5).
Article 246 (3).
According to article 247, the consent of the coastal State is presumed if that state is a member of or has a bilateral agreement with an international organization that aims at conducting MSR, by itself or under its auspices, in the EEZ or on the continental shelf of the coastal State, and further provided that the coastal State either explicitly approved the project when the decision was initially made or the coastal State did not object to the decision within a period of 4 months after notification.
According to article 252 the consent of the coastal State is implied provided that it has not reacted within a period of 4 months after the required information has been provided by the researching State or the competent international organization.
Article 246 (6).
Articles 256 and 257.
Articles 87 and 257.
See Jarmache ( 2003).
Under article 297 (2), the coastal State denying consent or ordering the suspension or cessation of MSR in its EEZ or on the continental shelf is not obliged to subject itself to the dispute resolution settlement. For further analysis see Roach ( 1996).
For further discussion concerning the difficulties for foreign researchers to obtain an approval permit see Xue ( 2009), p. 215.
For a review of the State practice see the site of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, http://www.ioc-unesco.org. Accessed: 9 Mar 2016.
However, this is not the case for some provisions, such as the one referring to the possibility of implied consent, which is ignored in State practice, see Treves ( 2012), par. 16 and 17.
This expression is mentioned by Gavouneli referring to the Agreement concluded in 2009 between Greece and Albania, which was declared as unconstitutional by the Albanian Constitutional Court, Gavouneli ( 2015), p. 276.
For an explanation see Vidas ( 2008), pp. 9–10.
A list of the relevant national legislation is provided in the website of DOALOS, http://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/europe.htm. Accessed: 2 Oct 2015.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has actually a very limited coastline on the Adriatic Sea, the Neum corridor, which is enclosed between two parts of the Croatian coastline. It could be said that it is an almost landlocked country.
It is worth noting that some States, including Greece and Italy, provide in national legislations that in the absence of delimitation agreements the medial line will apply provisionally. For Greece, see art. 156, Law No. 4001/2011 for the Operation of Electricity and Gas Energy Markets, for Exploration, Production and transmission of networks of Hydrocarbons and other provisions, published in the Government Gazette No. 179, Part One, 22 August 2011, text available at: http://www.ypeka.gr/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=l3TNzx1rKsM%3D&tabid=765&language=en-US. Accessed: 9 Mar 2016. For Italy, see art. 1 (3), Legge No. 61 di 8 febbraio 2006, Istituzione di Zone di Protezione Ecologica Oltre il Limite Esterno del Mare Territorial, Gazzetta Ufficiale No. 52 del 3 marzo 2006, text available at: http://www.camera.it/parlam/leggi/06061l.htm. Accessed: 9 Mar 2016.
According to international law, a State cannot invoke its domestic deficiencies to contest the validity of a duly signed international agreement. For further analysis see Noussia ( 2010).
Decision on the extension of jurisdiction of the Republic of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea, 53 Law of the Sea Bulletin, 2004, pp. 68–69.
Act on the proclamation of the ecological protection zone and on the continental shelf, 60 Law of the Sea Bulletin, 2006, pp. 56–57.
Legge No. 61 di 8 febbraio 2006, Istituzione di Zone di Protezione Ecologica Oltre il Limite Esterno del Mare Territorial, Gazzetta Ufficiale No. 52 del 3 marzo 2006, text available at: http://www.camera.it/parlam/leggi/06061l.htm. Accessed: 5 Nov 2015. For further analysis see Scovazzi ( 2005).
See Strati ( 2012), p. 50.
See the Report prepared for the DG MARE of the European Commission, Cost and benefits arising from the establishment of maritime zones in the Mediterranean Sea, June 2013, p. 165, text accessible at: http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/documentation/studies/documents/maritime-zones-mediterranean-report_en.pdf. Accessed: 9 Mar 2016.
DOALOS Guide ( 2010), pp. 4–5.
DOALOS Guide ( 2010), p. 5.
For ex. the Impeccable incident in the South China Sea, where a USA surveillance ship was conducting undersea passive sonar operations and acoustic data gathering, provoking the reactions of China. For further discussion, see Agnihotri and Agarwal ( 2009).
Article 246 (3) and (5).
Caflisch and Piccard ( 1978), p. 850.
Caflisch and Piccard ( 1978), p. 851.
Bork et al. ( 2008), p. 303.
Some States limit or enlarge the meaning of the term, according to their own interests. For the American practice, for ex., see Roach ( 2001), p. 9.
See Bateman ( 2009).
See Dromgoole ( 2010).
Contra Roach ( 1996), p. 60.
See Roach ( 1996), p. 61.
See Xue ( 2009), pp. 218–219.
See Jorem and Tvedt ( 2014).
See Stephens and Rothwell ( 2015), p. 568.
There is no information available in the global level. However, The Global Ocean Science Report, launched in 2014, will provide a tool for mapping and evaluating the human and institutional capacity of States in terms of marine research, observations and data/information management, and provide a global overview of the main fields of interest, technological developments, capacity- building needs and overall trends, as well as information on research investments and the status of ocean research, see Report of the Secretary General, Oceans and the law of the Sea, A/70/74/Add. 1, 2015, par. 61.
As far as the Mediterranean is concerned, the Mediterranean Science Commission database provides a list with resources and means of marine research institutions by country around the Mediterranean: http://www.ciesm.org/online/institutes/IndexInstituts.htm. Accessed: 9 Mar 2016.
This term covers States conducting research themselves or whose private institutions are engaged in such research.
For further information see http://www.argo.net. Accessed: 14 Mar 2016.
For further analysis see Bork et al. ( 2008), p. 303.
The MEDITS survey programme intends to produce basic information on benthic and demersal species in terms of population distribution as well as demographic structure, on the continental shelf and along the upper slopes at a global scale in the Mediterranean sea through systematic bottom trawl surveys. For further information, see http://www.sibm.it/SITO%20MEDITS/principaleprogramme.htm. Accessed: 14 Mar 2016.
Cost and benefits arising from the establishment of maritime zones in the Mediterranean Sea, op.cit., p. 174.
See de Marffy ( 1985), p. 957.
See Oral ( 2014).
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- Marine Scientific Research: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead