Legal aspects of marine pollution
This study examines the effectiveness of legal controls over marine pollution in preventing ocean resource user conflict and a degradation of the marine environment. Marine pollution is defined as including both natural and human induced pollution. The major sources of pollution are from vessels, land based sources, sea bed exploration and exploitation and the atmosphere. A number of pollutants are identified including domestic sewage, pesticides, radioactive materials and oil and oil products. Marine pollution can be caused by ocean resource users resulting in conflict with other ocean resource users. The legal controls are both international and domestic in nature. International customery law is examined and then a detailed look is taken at the international conventions. The examination shows that the conventions are limited because of their scope. They generally only consider oil pollution. Other problems are established such as the problems of enforcement, "flag" of convenience states and land based pollutants. A detailed examination of the Marine Pollution Act 1974 is then undertaken. Various limitations are shown up in this piece of legislation. Secondary legislation is shown only to control marine pollution indirectly. In conclusion some additions to the legal controls are suggested.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsmarine pollution; legal controls; marine resources; marine environment; Marine Pollution Act 1974; marine pollutants; international treaties
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