Story: Law of the sea

Japanese tuna boats

Japanese tuna boats

At the 1974 Law of the Sea conference, New Zealand and Pacific nations argued for all states to conserve and manage their high-seas fisheries. This principle was behind a case taken by New Zealand and Australia to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in 1999. They aimed to prevent Japan from experimental fishing of the seriously depleted southern blue-fin tuna. The tribunal decided they did not have jurisdiction, and the issue is still debated. Meanwhile, Japanese vessels like this one, photographed in 2005, continue to fish for tuna using controversial techniques such as drift netting.

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Greenpeace International
Photograph by Lorette Dorreboom

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How to cite this page:

Bill Mansfield, 'Law of the sea - United Nations convention, 1982', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 June 2019)

Story by Bill Mansfield, published 12 Jun 2006