The 1982 UN Law of the Sea was the largest ever annexation of our planet and our ocean. In one stroke, one-third of our planet was formally designated as ‘exclusive economic zones’, giving coastal countries rights to 200 miles of ocean around their continental shelf. The law came into force in 1994. This meant 35% of the world’s surface – equivalent to the planet’s total land area – or almost half of the world’s oceans now fell under the jurisdiction of nation states, rather than in international limbo, as much of the high seas are today. For several countries, particularly small island states, this meant that they were now over 90% underwater. However, governments have not kept pace with the evolution and reality of global ocean thinking. Many government departments with responsibility for our oceans are still siloed within individual ministries or agencies of, for example, fisheries, shipping, tourism, offshore energy or the environment, with few co-ordinating bodies or holistic ocean strategies.

83 Countries are More Ocean Than Land - World Economic Forum, 2017 DOWNLOAD

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