Sustainable and Equitable Utilisation of Marine Resources

Leader: Professor Nigel Bankes, UiT/University of Calgary

The research under this work package will investigate the rights and obligations of states in relation to access to and utilization of marine natural resources with a particular focus on the Arctic. It will also address the theme protecting the marine environment in the context of balancing resource exploitation and environmental protection and through the framework of ecosystem management. The theme of stability and change will also be addressed through the lenses of changing uses of the oceans and recognition of new set of actors (indigenous peoples).

This research area consists of six tasks:

Task 1: Rights and obligations in relation to the exploitation of energy resources in Arctic

This task consists of three sub-tasks:

1: The management of shared oil and gas resources between Arctic states.

2: The legal framework for Norway's Energy Trading and Energy Investment.

3: The legal framework for Subsea energy infrastructure (pipelines and cables).


Task 2: Biological resources beyond national jurisdiction

Areas beyond national jurisdiction contain a variety of biological resources including both traditional resources (fisheries and marine mammals) and non-traditional resources such as marine genetic resources for bioprospecting. The management of these resources is challenging because of traditional high seas freedoms and because the rights and obligations of states are based upon the complex interaction between different legal regimes.


Task 3: Ecosystem approach in aquaculture and fisheries management

The questions to be examined here include: What is the ecosystem approach and to what extent has it become a part of international fisheries law? What are the implications of the adoption of the ecosystem approach for the conservation and sustainable utilization of marine mammals? How does the ecosystem approach provide for the intrinsic value of biological diversity and how does it make provision for the needs of non-target species including not only fish but also, for example, seabirds?


Task 4: The interrelationship between the Law of the Sea and developing international norms relating to the rights of indigenous peoples

Many indigenous peoples count marine areas as part of their traditional territories and rely on access to marine resources for sustenance and cultural reasons as well as for transportation. Since the adoption of UNCLOS in 1982 international law and the domestic of laws of many states, including Norway, have accorded the rights of indigenous people increased recognition.


Taks 5: The legal framework for commercial exploitation of living marine resources and aquaculture

This task aims at investigating how access to marine living resources is regulated, by using comparative studies, particularly on the use of ITQ and other types of quota arrangements. Further, the task will address the question of whether a property characterization of the right to harvest contributes to or detract from ideas of sustainable and equitable utilization.


Task 6: The developing international regime for Arctic Ocean fisheries

This task will examine developments among Arctic Ocean coastal states and other states and entities on the need and options for new international instruments and national legislation on Arctic Ocean fisheries.







Participating researchers:

Professor Nigel Bankes

Professor Erik J. Molenaar

Associate Professor Irene V. Dahl

Associate Professor Svein Kr. Arntzen

Postdoctor Fellow Vito de Lucia

Associate Professor Maria Madalena das Neves

Research Fellow Endalew Lijalem Enyew

Research Fellow Hilde Juliette Woker