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Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas and Transboundary Waters: An Examination of Bilateral Management of the Salish Sea

Abstract The Salish Sea experiences substantial vessel traffic and is vulnerable to impacts from vessel-source pollution. In response to anticipated increases in vessel traffic and risk of oil spills, the non-profit organization Friends of the San Juans advocated for the United States and Canada to adopt a transboundary Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) through the Interna-tional Maritime Organization. However, neither State ultimately supported a PSSA proposal. This article examines the unsuccessful PSSA proposal for the Salish Sea within the broader context of the PSSA mechanism to under-stand the limitations of PSSAs and provide insight into why and how PSSA designations have changed over time. Here, the Salish Sea case presents an opportunity to examine the factors that States weigh when deciding whether to propose a PSSA, and how these factors relate to potential limita-tions of the PSSA mechanism. States with a history of transnational cooper-ation, such as the United States and Canada, may be more averse to using a PSSA mechanism when more familiar and trusted systems for bilateral co-operation exist. In this way, States may rely on existing institutions, prece-dents, and agreements for transboundary collaboration between one an-other and with indigenous communities impacted by an environmental issue.

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Sharing is Caring: Prominent Issues and Considerations Regarding the Equitable Distribution of Deep-sea Mining Proceeds

Abstract The status of the Area and its mineral resources as the common heritage of mankind constitutes the guiding principle of the international deep seabed regime. Although its implications and objectives are wide-ranging, one of the crucial components of this abstract concept consists of a general prem-ise to carry out activities in the Area for the benefit of mankind as a whole. This ambition can be pursued through various mechanisms, and one of the most direct ways is to share the proceeds of deep-sea mining among all States on an equitable basis. In accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is tasked with developing a suitable payment and distribution system, which takes the needs and interests of developing States into particular consideration. This article analyses the overarching rules and principles, discusses prominent issues and evaluates the available options, offering an insightful look at a complex process that will shape some of the most important aspects of the international deep seabed regime. It is clear that several problematic as-pects remain fairly underexposed and the ISA should be careful not to overlook the essential principles upon which the international regime gov-erning the Area is built.

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