The Myth of Mermaids and Stewardship of the Seas
Transnational Legal Theory, 2020
14 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2020
Date Written: February 4, 2020
Mermaids have become increasingly present in popular culture. At the same time as this mermaid renaissance, states have been negotiating a new international legally binding instrument on the sustainable use and conservation of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Faced with increased pressures on ocean ecosystems – fisheries depletion, ocean acidification and plastics pollution – urgent action is required to remedy gaps in the current regime. However, the new agreement is bound by a commitment not to undermine the existing framework. From the perspective marine biodiversity protection this is problematic, the existing framework is based on a fictionalized account of ocean space that does not accurately reflect the ecological complexities of the seas. Through the mythology of mermaids, I seek to establish a more ecologically sensitive narrative of the seas that will better protect marine biodiversity both within and beyond areas of national jurisdiction.
Keywords: Ocean Governance, Mythology, Stewardship, Public Participation, Marine Rights, BBNJ
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