Platforms, Plastics and Parasites: International Law Responses to Contemporary Marine Pollution Issues

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Protecting ocean health is critical to ensure food security, marine conservation and sustainable use of our oceans, as well as the achievement of broader blue economy goals. Despite significant global attention,marine debris, waste and pollution continue to cause concern and cumulatively impact on marine and human health. Legal frameworks have been developed over the last half a century focused largely on preventing deliberate dumping of waste, or accidental environmental damage caused by marine pollution from ships. Several of these regimes were created when much less was known about the ocean and what activities impacted upon it, as well as the techniques and tools to prevent damage. It is therefore timely to re-visit the legal frameworks and explore whether they are able to address contemporary challenges. This paper will outline the current state of the international law drawing upon three case studies: in situ decommissioning of oil rigs and their disposal at sea, the cumulative impacts of plastics in the ocean and bio-security hazards created by alien invasive species. These challenges are all anthropogenic and this article will identify areas where further interventions are needed to better regulate and manage activities and prevent significant harm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPerth International Law Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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