The handbook begins with an overview of the world's oceans and their physical and geographic features. The next two chapters survey the international conferences that have been held on ocean use and explore the historical development of international principles on the law of the sea. Ocean resources and their economic and political management form the focus of the following four chapters, with separate chapters on living and non-living resources and deep seabed mining. The final chapters address ocean environmental protection and pollution prevention and the implications of various uses of the ocean: military, navigation and transport, and marine scientific research. The text is accompanied by numerous charts and tables, end-of-chapter references, and seven appendixes which contain valuable supplemental information such as a chronological list of conventions and treaties on the law of the sea, national legislation on exclusive economic zones, bilateral fishery agreements, and more.
This book offers several possible regional interim solutions to the South China Sea disputes. All of the national claims to both islands and ocean space in the region have weaknesses. An interim solution is urgently needed because the status quo is dangerous and unstable, because of unilateral actions by the claimants and continuing opportunities for involvement by outside powers. Division or allocation of the features and ocean space among the competing claimants seem unfeasible because of their sharp disagreements over the boundaries of the area in dispute as well as what would constitute an appropriate equitable division.
The authors survey the principles that appear to guide the nations of the South China Sea region in their regional relations, and they identify the appropriate objectives of a regional resource authority. They also identify the political realities of the region, which serve as constraints on the design of a regime. The authors propose the creation of a regional multilateral resource management body as a solution to reduce the tension currently rife in the region. The options presented serve as illustrations designed to stimulate constructive discussion on a comprehensive multilateral interim solution to these difficult and dangerous disputes.
Sharing the Resources of the South China Sea will be of interest to international decision-makers, negotiators, and academics desirous of a peaceful solution to these disputes.