Nations have agreed on a High Seas Treaty to protect marine biodiversity and provide oversight of international waters. The treaty aims to safeguard marine life and ensure equitable access to science and benefits from ocean discoveries, and establishes a mechanism to create marine protected areas (MPAs) in the high seas. The treaty also calls for environmental-impact assessments for any activities on the high seas that are expected to have a substantial effect. The biggest sticking point of the negotiations was the issue of benefit sharing from 'marine genetic resources', and the treaty states that monetary benefits from genetic resources "shall be shared in a fair and equitable manner" and used "for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity".
Photo Credit: Peter F