Rethinking the oceans and their management

  • Jennifer L. Bailey


This article argues that the vision of the oceans that underlies the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is fundamentally outdated. The new conceptual framework for ocean management must be centered on the role the world’s oceans play in global supporting and regulating services, of which marine biota are critical components. These must be in turn be designated as an updated version of the Common Heritage of Mankind (CMH). Understanding marine ecosystem services well enough to manage oceans sustainably will require a large-scale, concerted international scientific effort in a time in which both science and the sense of global community are under direct assault. A new ocean regime must provide for an autonomous International Ocean Authority (IOA) that collects and integrates data, funds the necessary scientific work, builds epistemic communities, invests in or even provides scientific training, and offers, when necessary, safe haven to scientists and their work and to citizen activists.


United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea Common Heritage of Mankind Marine ecological goods and services Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Oceans management 


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© AESS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Political ScienceNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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