publisher colophon

This paper considers the relevance of seamounts, hydrothermal vents, and cold-water seeps for governance of the ocean in the “Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction” (ABNJ). These topographical features concentrate economically significant biotic and mineral resources, and are the site of unsustainable fishing practices. Three proposals for ABNJ governance are considered: a new legal instrument, an augmented existing regime, and national territorializing. Each is conditioned by the characteristics of seamounts and vents, whose features create governance incentives, challenges, and possibilities.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), despite its self-declared status as the “Constitution for the Oceans,” leaves vast stretches of maritime space legally and functionally ungoverned. The Convention’s jurisdictional arrangements focus almost exclusively on the seabed and coastal areas, and the “high seas” are simply codified as “Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction” (ABNJ). This lack of targeted institution building during the UNCLOS negotiations of the 1970s and 1980s can be explained by a dearth of knowledge about the open ocean and an under-appreciation of its resources. Today, sector-specific, functional organizations manage the ABNJ, such as the International Maritime Organization—which regulates shipping—and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). Two developments challenge this arrangement. First, these organizations have been deemed “inadequate” due to their failure to prevent major damage to the pelagic marine environment, which now faces challenges from intensive fishing and other stressors.1 Second, new scientific knowledge has transformed our map [End Page 61] of the open ocean from a smooth, homogenous space into a textured domain filled with distinct places. Combined, these developments have prompted a wave of proposals for augmenting the UNCLOS regime, which draw unevenly on existing legal precedents and new marine science. The regime governing uses of the ocean is at a “critical juncture,” where new places and new activities will be regulated for the first time.2

This article considers how the new physical map of the open ocean—containing distinct places in a variegated topography—impacts the formulation of new political geographies for ABNJ governance. This line of inquiry makes sense because of the degree to which UNCLOS jurisdictional zones are defined with reference to topographical features like the coastline, continental shelf, and islands. Most obviously, features such as seamounts and hydrothermal vents could serve as a reference point for new jurisdictional zones. But the topography of the seafloor also has a more fundamental relevance for governance in the ABNJ because of the way it conditions ocean circulation and biogeography. The first section of this article will establish a relationship between seafloor topography and the economic and ecological interests that motivate proposals for governance in the ABNJ. The basic argument is that topography influences resource distribution and renewability in the open and deep ocean. The second section considers two ideal-type proposals—centralized governance and thickened institutions—and the degree to which they are shaped by seafloor topography. The final section interjects a third type of proposal into the larger conversation about ABNJ governance: the nationalization of distinct topographical places in the deep sea. The aim of this article is not to forward a particular proposal for high seas governance, but rather to reflect on the extent to which marine physical geography affects the construction of governance schemes for the ABNJ.

Ocean Places: Seamounts, Vents, and Seeps

For many centuries, humans believed that the ocean floor was impossibly deep, a smooth and lifeless abyssal plain. But oceanic plates are just as active as continental ones, and in the second half of the twentieth century a more complex deep ocean topography came into focus. Volcanism and other geological phenomena have, over millions of years, created hundreds of thousands of underwater mountains (called “seamounts”), hydrothermal vents, and toxic cold-water seeps that are distributed across the sea floor. In the ocean, as on land, the lithosphere patterns the biosphere. These topographical features are important for marine biodiversity and the production of biomass because of their role in the churning of minerals and nutrients, their function as waypoints for migrators, and the unique physiological characteristics of their endemic ecosystems. As [End Page 62] nexus of ecological productivity, these sites are important for economic activity both now and in the future. This section will describe the distribution of important topographical features on the ocean floor, and explain their importance for human interests.

Seamounts, hydrothermal vents, and cold-water seeps are all distinct geological features, but their distributions correlate with tectonic boundaries. Seamounts and vents are products of volcanic activity, and often occur together along spreading mid-ocean ridges, subduction zones, and tectonic “hot spots” in the middle of otherwise smooth abyssal plains.3 There are somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 seamounts, each rising over a kilometer above the ocean floor, with an average height of 5 kilometers.4 Around five hundred hydrothermal vents have been identified.5 The number and spatial distribution of cold seeps are less well known. Cold seeps—where chemical-rich water flows out of openings in the seafloor—were first discovered in 1983; so far, most known seeps are clustered around continental margins. All three geological features can and do occur in low-governance parts of the ocean, but seamounts and hydrothermal vents are most significantly clustered in the high seas.

Scientific knowledge about seamounts, vents, and cold seeps suffers from data deficiency. Fewer than three hundred seamounts have been explored and sampled.6 Locating seamounts is relatively easy, but visiting them is difficult. Seamounts can be located using satellite altimetry, which measures slight variations in sea surface height as indications of the gravitational signature of large underwater structures.7 In 2014, fifteen thousand new seamounts were mapped, increasing the number of known seamounts to twenty thousand. These underwater mountains can also be identified by their effect on oceanic circulation, which generates a “water column signal” identifiable to oceanographers. Hydrothermal vents and cold-water seeps are more difficult to find, although their occurrence can be inferred from other known geological and geochemical features.8 Even when seamounts and vents are identified, their depth and distance from shore means that sampling requires advanced technology and substantial funding.

Despite the low amount of site-specific data collection, emerging paradigms in seamount ecology suggest that they play an important role in concentrating ocean resources. Although many of these hypotheses can only be judged as “plausible” or “supported,” their implications for resource management provide a strong incentive for taking them seriously.9 Seamounts especially, and to a lesser degree vents and seeps, are important for three types of resources: biodiversity, minerals, and fisheries.

Deep ocean habitats are some of the least understood on the planet, because of their inaccessibility and dissimilarity from other marine ecosystems.10 Because all organisms in the deep sea evolved in conditions of extreme pressure and total darkness, their physiology and genetics are highly unique. At hydro-thermal vents, extremophiles live in high temperatures, and at both vents and seeps they live in the presence of highly toxic outflows. Microorganisms at the base of the vent and seep food chains utilize chemosynthesis instead of photosynthesis, often in symbiosis with endemic invertebrates. At seamounts, sessile filter feeders benefit from both falling organic matter and mineral-rich upwelling, [End Page 63] with the latter caused by the seamounts’ disruption of ocean currents. Although the “islands of diversity” hypothesis lacks hard supporting evidence, the high barrier for dispersal between these features suggests that site-specific speciation may occur. These highly specialized, isolated biotic communities are an important resource for human interests.

Most basically, deep-sea biodiversity is important for the overall health of the oceans. The “profound involvement” of deep-sea ecosystems in global biogeochemical cycles makes their sustainable functioning essential for nutrient regeneration, climate stability, and production of biomass.11 In addition to these ecosystem services, the extremophiles endemic to seamounts, vents, and seeps represent are important species for studying the origins and evolution of life.12 Indeed, these organisms may be “critical for the long-term persistence of life on Earth,” because they can survive in conditions fatal to other organisms.13 More proximately, deep-sea biodiversity represents an important opportunity for “bioprospecting,” or the use of genetic resources for the development of novel products. Marine life in general is predicted to contain a “pharmaceutical bonanza” relative to terrestrial genetic resources, and extremophiles are especially promising.14 Companies have already begun patenting.15

Seamounts, hydrothermal vents, and cold seeps also concentrate valuable mineral resources. Seamounts are known to contain thick ferromanganese crusts rich in cobalt and rare earth minerals.16 Hydrothermal vents produce both natural hydrogen and sulfide deposits that can be rich in copper, zinc, silver, and gold.17 Seeps contain methane hydrates, and often overlie oil and gas deposits. Although deep-sea mining has barely begun, these concentrations of useful minerals suggest a strong association between seafloor topography and the geography of future extraction.

Fisheries represent a final area of commercial activity affected by seafloor geography. Although vents and seeps have little relevance for large-scale, high-biomass fish populations, seamounts are extremely important. Their “abrupt topography” interacts with ocean circulation—both horizontal and vertical—to create dense aggregations of organisms through “trophic focusing.”18 The diversion of ocean currents over and around the seamount increases the flow of nutrients to suspension feeders. Zooplankton migrating downward at daybreak are often caught by, and accumulate around, seamounts.19 These “energetic subsidies” result in unusually dense aggregations of fish in the open ocean, including transitory pelagic species such as tuna and sharks that use seamounts as feeding grounds.20 Migratory fish may also be drawn to seamounts as landmarks for navigation, as they have detectable geomagnetic signatures.

Deep-sea fisheries were thought to be inaccessible and economically unattractive through the 1980s. The phenomenon of “fishing down the deep” describes the movement of fishers farther out into the open ocean, and farther [End Page 64] down into the deep ocean, that has occurred over the last fifty years.21 Seamount fisheries are a significant proportion of total fish caught in the high seas, and most target species live on or aggregate around seamounts.22 The vast majority of these deep-sea fisheries are over-exploited. Over-fishing around seamounts is a question of both “how” and “how much.” In terms of methods, deep-sea trawling destroys benthic habitats wholesale, reducing the resilience of any particular population.23 In terms of numbers, the fish populations that aggregate around seamounts are especially vulnerable to over-exploitation, because of their relatively slow growth, late maturity, and low fecundity. The result is a kind of “fish mining,” where a theoretically renewable resource is so heavily exploited that it becomes functionally non-renewable.24

Despite these multiple resources located on and around seamounts and hydrothermal vents, these places remain largely ungoverned and unregulated. The next section will examine three types of proposals for their management.

Proposals for High Seas Governance

UNCLOS, initially lauded for its comprehensive and universal scope, is now understood as an “unfinished legal regime” with many “governance gaps.”25 In terms of the resources described above, only seabed minerals are governed by a dedicated and successful regime, the International Seabed Authority (ISA). UNCLOS has basically failed to stop over-fishing, and lacks legal clarity regarding marine genetic resources. Over-fishing is the most visible and pressing problem, doing “more damage to the ocean than all other human activities there put together.”26 Concern about the magnitude and longevity of damage has prompted multiple proposals for augmenting the high seas management regime in the ABNJ. Indeed, UN General Assembly Resolution 69/292 dedicated a preparatory committee to develop a legally binding instrument under UNCLOS for the use of marine biodiversity in the ABNJ. This committee will meet through 2017 in order to generate recommendations for an intergovernmental conference. There is a well-developed literature about ABNJ governance options from which the committee may draw, and its open format suggests that many ideas will be brought to the table.

Most ABNJ governance proposals do not explicitly focus on sea floor topography, but the distribution and character of seamounts still has a discernible influence on governance designs. This section will consider how seamounts and hydrothermal vents fit into, or are at least reflected in, various schemes for ABNJ governance. Two typical proposals are examined, and a third option is proposed. Cold-water seeps are excluded because they seem to lie mostly within national jurisdictions.

Historically, two types of proposals for managing the ABNJ have been forwarded. The first type proposes a new centralized management institution, and often includes a “common heritage”-like mandate for high seas governance. The second simply augments and reforms existing institutions, including the extension of terrestrial regimes into the high seas. These two ideal-type alternatives differ in both their preferred institutional architecture and their means [End Page 65] of building it. But they share a general goal: integrated, ecosystem-based management that achieves sustainable economics by means of ecological health. This focus on an ecological understanding of the ocean helps explains why the geography of seamounts and hydrothermal vents becomes relevant.

Option 1: New Institutional Architecture

UNCLOS has two major deficiencies that hinder the achievement of its goals: it lacks a strong enforcement mechanism to ensure its provisions and a centralized institution broad enough to coordinate sector-specific regulation for the purpose of ecosystem-based management. For the high seas, the Convention relies on the implementation and enforcement efforts of “flag states,” the countries where ships are registered. So far, no state has passed national legislation concerning biodiversity or marine genetic resources in the high seas. Even if flag states did pass regulations, it is likely that their management would be uneven, uncoordinated, and self-interested.27 This is certainly the case with national participation in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), which are supposed to collectively manage high seas fisheries, but which have been unable to prevent widespread over-fishing.28 In contrast to these failures, the exploitation of seabed minerals in the ABNJ is managed by a centralized organization, the ISA. Although the ISA has only begun to issue permits for deep-seabed mining, its clear mandate to manage mineral exploitation as a “common heritage” of humankind, and its centralized institutional capacity, are strengths that some proposals for ABNJ governance mimic.

Seabed mineral extraction and bioprospecting for marine genetic resources share important similarities. Both require sophisticated and extremely expensive technology, which only advanced countries possess. Their extraction generates concentrated benefits: for minerals, huge profits and resource security, and for genetic resources, huge profits and potential medical breakthroughs. The “common heritage” principle seems applicable to genetic resources, and the “Group of 77” developing states and China both support benefit sharing.29

The ISA’s mandate—currently limited to mineral extraction—could either be extended to include living resources as common heritage, or the ISA could serve as a model for a new organization whose purpose is to manage biodiversity in the ABNJ.30 Whether or not a new organization is created, a more significant issue is the extent of its mandate. If all living resources in the ABNJ were defined as “common heritage,” the role of RFMOs would be subsumed. Bringing all living and non-living high seas and seabed resources under one or two centralized institutions would facilitate integrated ecosystem-based management, but it would also be an extremely large task. Hence, proposals of this [End Page 66] magnitude tend to include new and highly empowered central organizations, such as a UN Department of Oceans and Law of the Sea, a UN World Oceans Organization, or an Oceans Council.31

Another option would extend the ISA mandate to only sedentary species, excluding the high seas fisheries currently managed by RFMOs. This distinction between sedentary and non-sedentary species already exists in the UNCLOS regime, and is a useful division since sedentary creatures are more attractive targets for bioprospecting.32 In this scenario, the benthic communities that form the foundation of deep-sea ecosystems, and the genetic resources they contain, would be considered “common heritage.” This might afford benthic ecosystems a degree of protection from destructive trawling practices, and would ensure benefit sharing for deep seabed genetic resources.33

Seafloor topography is the basic reason for why these diverse resources are increasingly drawn together under a single framework. The concentration of valuable minerals there, in addition to the ISA’s obligation to minimize harm from deep-sea mineral extraction, has led the organization to study these underwater features. The close connection between the geological and ecological characteristics of these places makes it difficult to separate the management of the mineral substrate from the organisms attached to it. Similarly, the destruction of benthic ecosystems by trawlers seeking pelagic fish connects the management tasks of organizations seeking to protect species on the seafloor and in the water column.

Option 2: Thickening of Existing Institutions

Negotiating a new instrument for ABNJ governance would take a long time, and there is no guarantee that major coastal states would ratify a final treaty. For these reasons, many scholars propose the augmentation of the existing system of sector-specific management organizations as an “integrated rescue package.”34 Because there is no legal clarity regarding marine genetic resources, this would require elaborating a specific regime for bioprospecting out of existing institutions. This strategy also means finding a new approach to the problem of over-fishing. These proposals focus on augmenting three governance frameworks: RFMOs, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and Intellectual Property Rights regimes. The ultimate goal in almost all proposals is the development of integrated, ecosystem-based management. Because they are focal points for biodiversity and fisheries, seamounts, vents, and seeps play a significant role.

Biodiversity underlies both economic activities and ecosystem services. For this reason, the CBD is an obvious candidate for extension to ABNJ. Its current formulation has little regulatory authority and explicitly excludes marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. But its activities include useful work on conservation, benefit sharing, intellectual property, and technology transfer.35 [End Page 67] CBD could coordinate flag state activities, develop an authority to assess environmental impact statements and strategic environmental assessments, or create a forum for information sharing about marine genetic resources. Because UNCLOS already includes regulations for marine scientific research, an expanded CBD would have to define bioprospecting. The location of valuable genetic resources on seamounts, vents, and seeps would present a monitoring challenge for CBD.

Any genetic resource regime will need to clarify the legal conditions for intellectual property. Benefit-sharing schemes can include capacity building and technology transfer, but genetic resources can also be shared through disclosure and data sharing. The high barriers to acquiring these resources, and their potential usefulness for humanity as a whole, suggest a benefit-sharing arrangement. The low barriers to fishing, including subsidies from national governments, present a different challenge for fisheries management.

RFMOs are the quintessential sector-specific management organization in the high seas, and many are focused on single species like tuna. In addition to their limited coverage, RFMOs are widely criticized for being self-serving and ineffectual.36 One of their many weaknesses is the failure to account for ecosystem destruction in calculating the “Maximum Sustainable Yield,” and using the “maximum” as a target, instead of a limit. The ecosystem-based approach is understood as a solution to this myopia, but RFMOs are already legally required to adopt this and other conservation principles.37 Instead of trying to import a more holistic management approach, it has been proposed that RFMOs be reshaped into Regional Ocean Management Organizations that explicitly cover multiple human uses and their cumulative impacts in the ABNJ.38 Most such proposals rely on a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to serve as a framework for cross-sector cooperation to promote ocean biodiversity and sustainable use.39

MPAs are spatial zones where access and exploitation are restricted. In theory, their location and extent are determined using ecological criteria.40 In practice, contemporary MPAs have uneven coverage and poor enforcement, are concentrated in national jurisdictions, and tend to protect areas that no one wanted to fish in anyway.41 Multiple organizations have generated criteria for ecologically significant areas as candidates for future MPAs, and these tend to concentrate around features of seafloor topography. The CBD criteria for “Ecologically and Biologically Sensitive Areas” include uniqueness, slow recovery, biological productivity, biological diversity, and importance for species reproduction. Although there is no clear process for the application of these criteria, they have been used to designate seamounts.42 Similarly, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s criteria for “Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems” includes uniqueness, fragility, functional significance, slow recovery, and structural complexity. In 2006, the UN General Assembly explicitly identified seamounts, hydrothermal vents, and cold-water corals as examples of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems that needed protection from destructive fishing practices. The idea of designating a special zone of ecological importance extends beyond these organizations. The ISA, in addition to its “Preservation Reference Zones” for deep seabed mining, has called for the establishment of a system of “Chemosynthetic [End Page 68] Environmental Reserves” around vents and cold-water seeps.43 The International Maritime Organization has declared a set of “Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas,” although these currently all fall within national jurisdictions.

The “place-ness” of the open and deep ocean is increasingly reflected in governance schemes. Even those who propose mobile and seasonal protected areas identify seamounts as a reliable location for static protected areas.44 Unfortunately, RFMOs either have no obligation or have failed in practice to protect these specially designated spaces.45 Data deficiency makes it difficult to prove that a location meets the criteria, and few on-site actors have an incentive to collect data. This is also a challenge for integrated management generally, which requires managing the cumulative and interactive effects of multiple human uses.46

Option 3: Territorialize

Each of the proposals described above attempts to move the regime away from economic and toward ecological organizing principles. But these are not the only options: governance could also be based on nationalization. This option—rarely considered—offers the prima facie advantage of overcoming an enduring obstacle to a strengthened ocean governance regime: state sovereignty. In particular, this option is likely to appeal to the United States and Russia, which currently oppose the creation of a new legal instrument.47 This section will argue that seamounts make territorialization of ABNJ possible and consider the arguments in favor of and against site-specific nationalization.

In the past, the open ocean was understood as a smooth, homogenous space, and the deep ocean was thought to be lifeless and inaccessible. With a domain like this, territorialization seems both impossible and undesirable. Given what we now know about the textured topography of the seafloor, and given the precedents of UNCLOS, carving parts of the ABNJ up into national territory is not as radical a proposal as it first seems. UNCLOS already uses geological geography as a foundation for political geography. Seamounts—like coastlines and continental shelves—could serve as reference points for the development and codification of political boundaries, perhaps based on a radius from their center. Seamounts are simply islands that have not broken the surface. They are large enough to have detectable magnetic signatures. UNCLOS has already used the creation of jurisdiction zones to nationalize areas of high biotic productivity. The original wave of territorial claims that led to the Exclusive Economic Zone concept was based on the desire to protect highly productive near-shore fisheries from the predations of long-distance fishers. Like coastal zones, seamounts are areas where economically valuable fish aggregate in large numbers. [End Page 69]

Nationalization of seamounts can compare to the public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service in the United States. One shared precedent is the severance of subsurface mineral rights from private land ownership, which characterizes some Bureau property. The ISA claim over minerals on and in the seabed is unlikely to be challenged, but this does not necessarily exclude the possibility of private seamount ownership. Another similarity is the economics of slow growth resources.48 The incentive to liquidate a stock is strong for clear-cutting and trawling when there is another forest or fishery to move on to.49 To prevent serial destruction, the government manages exploitation through a system of permits and leases, and criminalizes violations.

Making seamounts national territory may be able to reverse some of the conditions of failure for much of the UNCLOS regime. Flag state enforcement, which leads to “flags of convenience” and illegal fishing, “is based on a legal fiction that a ship is a floating piece of national territory.”50 If the seamount itself were national territory, the relationship between exploiters and governments might change dramatically. The seamount and surrounding area would represent a zone of biotic productivity, a stash of genetic resources, and an infinitely renewable source of protein. This is a classic response to the “tragedy of the commons”—the hope that privatization, or nationalization, will incentivize better management.

There is a plausible argument for the increased efficacy of national management. Deep-sea and seamount fisheries within national jurisdictions are often touted as a model for RFMOs because nationalized fisheries are better managed.51 One of the basic problems with RFMOs is that commercial interests represent member states, and therefore a “race to overfish” often occurs before any meaningful management. No one is keeping out non-members, and no one trusts the ability or interest of other states to restrain their fishing fleets.52 When the regulatory relationship is simplified to governments overseeing domestic companies, a new political will and enforcement capacity might emerge. Political will is reinforced through narratives about “economic competitiveness” and “economic security,” and security issues historically command the application of financial, scientific, and technological resources. Domestic registration, and even mandatory domestic sales, could facilitate monitoring of users in ports and at market. Surveillance of a seamount is easier than surveillance of a vast MPA because of its smaller size and central geological feature. Surveillance technologies such as satellites, moored sonar arrays, and gliders have made it possible to observe seamounts over long periods of time.53

Nationalization might facilitate an ecosystem-based approach, if not a holistic one. If national governments are concerned about economic security, competitiveness, and stability, then they will have to learn about the reproduction patterns of seamount fisheries. Focused sampling and marine research would generate important information about regrowth rates and resilience. [End Page 70] Ideally, ecological principles would be used to indicate the conditions for long-term economic viability. A limited number of seamount territories minimizes the data requirements and maximizes the incentives for ecosystem-based management.

An obvious problem with the nationalization proposal is distribution, which would have to be determined through a formula that considers distribution of seamounts and vents, likely distribution of resources, and geographical proximity. The inevitable overlap of fisheries would present the same issues that “straddling stocks” did across Exclusive Economic Zones.54 The biggest problem, however, would be the asymmetry of enforcement capability. Advanced fishing nations could exclude all other users from their national territory, but illegally fish within the territories of weaker states. This possible future contrasts starkly with the ideal of “common heritage.”


The commonalities among these three proposals for governance in the ABNJ demonstrate the emergence of a new paradigm in ocean governance: isomorphism between political geography and the geography of geological, geophysical, and ecological systems. This article has suggested that the patterns of seafloor topography and deep-sea ecology have important ramifications for collective governance. More specifically, it argues that areas of biotic productivity and ecosystem diversity can be identified, and that these are the proper focus of institution building in the UNCLOS regime.

Elizabeth Mendenhall

Elizabeth Mendenhall is a PhD candidate in international relations at Johns Hopkins University. Her research areas include planetary geopolitics, global commons management, and contemporary environmentalism. She is currently finishing her dissertation, entitled “Shifting Grounds: Scientific and Technological Change and International Regimes for Extra-territorial Spaces.”


1. Alan B. Sielen, “The Devolution of the Seas,” Foreign Affairs 92, no. 6 (December 2013): 124–32; J.B.C. Jackson, “Ecological Extinction and Evolution in the Brave New Ocean,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, no. Supplement 1 (August 12, 2008): 1458–65; Thalif Deen, “Final Push to Launch U.N Negotiations on High Seas Treaty,” Inter Press Service, January 20, 2015.

2. Klaus Töpfer et al., “Charting Pragmatic Courses for Global Ocean Governance,” Marine Policy 49 (November 2014): 85–86.

3. Malcolm R. Clark et al., “The Ecology of Seamounts: Structure, Function, and Human Impacts,” Annual Review of Marine Science 2, no. 1 (January 2010): 253–78.

4. Tony J. Pitcher, Seamounts: Ecology, Fisheries & Conservation (Oxford: Blackwell Pub., 2007).

5. Stace E. Beaulieu et al., “An Authoritative Global Database for Active Submarine Hydrothermal Vent Fields: Global Vents Database,” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 14, no. 11 (November 2013): 4892–4905.

6. Ashley A. Rowden et al., “Paradigms in Seamount Ecology: Fact, Fiction and Future: Paradigms in Seamount Ecology,” Marine Ecology 31 (September 2010): 226–41.

7. C. Hwang and E.T.Y. Chang, “Seafloor Secrets Revealed,” Science 346, no. 6205 (October 3, 2014): 32–33.

8. International Seabed Authority, ed., Environmental Management of Deep-Sea Chemosynthetic Ecosystems: Justification of and Considerations for a Spatially-Based Approach, ISA Technical Study 9 (Kingston, Jamaica: Internat. Seabed Authority, 2011).

9. Rowden et al., “Paradigms in Seamount Ecology.”

10. Pitcher, Seamounts. [End Page 71]

11. Roberto Danovaro et al., “Exponential Decline of Deep-Sea Ecosystem Functioning Linked to Benthic Biodiversity Loss,” Current Biology 18, no. 1 (January 2008): 1–8.

12. Salvatore Aricò and Charlotte Salpin, “Bioprospecting of Genetic Resources in the Deep Seabed: Scientific, Legal and Policy Aspects,” United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, 2005.

13. International Seabed Authority, Environmental Management of Deep-Sea Chemosynthetic Ecosystems, 7.

14. “In Deep Water,” The Economist, February 22, 2014.

15. Salvatore Aricò, ed., Ocean Sustainability in the 21st Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 203.

16. L. M. Wedding et al., “Managing Mining of the Deep Seabed,” Science 349, no. 6244 (July 10, 2015): 144–45.

17. Yves Fouquet and Denis Lacroix, eds., Deep Marine Mineral Resources (Dordrecht: Springer, 2014).

18. Amatzia Genin, “Bio-Physical Coupling in the Formation of Zooplankton and Fish Aggregations over Abrupt Topographies,” Journal of Marine Systems 50, no. 1–2 (September 2004): 3–20.

19. Clark et al., “The Ecology of Seamounts.”

20. Ibid., 263; Pitcher, Seamounts, 191.

21. Telmo Morato et al., “Fishing down the Deep,” Fish and Fisheries 7, no. 1 (March 2006): 24–34; Reg A. Watson and Telmo Morato, “Fishing down the Deep: Accounting for within-Species Changes in Depth of Fishing,” Fisheries Research 140 (February 2013): 63–65.

22. Pitcher, Seamounts, 51.

23. Danovaro et al., “Exponential Decline of Deep-Sea Ecosystem Functioning Linked to Benthic Biodiversity Loss.”

24. Elliott A. Norse et al., “Sustainability of Deep-Sea Fisheries,” Marine Policy 36, no. 2 (March 2012): 307–20.

25. Ibid., 316; Kristina M Gjerde, Regulatory and Governance Gaps in the International Regime for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (Gland: IUCN, 2008).

26. “In Deep Water.”

27. Aricò and Salpin, “Bioprospecting of Genetic Resources in the Deep Seabed: Scientific, Legal and Policy Aspects.”

28. Sarika Cullis-Suzuki and Daniel Pauly, “Failing the High Seas: A Global Evaluation of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations,” Marine Policy 34, no. 5 (September 2010): 1036–42; B. Worm et al., “Rebuilding Global Fisheries,” Science 325, no. 5940 (July 31, 2009): 578–85.

29. Töpfer et al., “Charting Pragmatic Courses for Global Ocean Governance.”

30. Aricò and Salpin, “Bioprospecting of Genetic Resources in the Deep Seabed,” 61.

31. Kristina M. Gjerde et al., “Ocean in Peril: Reforming the Management of Global Ocean Living Resources in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction,” Marine Pollution Bulletin 74, no. 2 (September 30, 2013): 540–51; “The Tragedy of the High Seas,” The Economist, February 22, 2014; Denise Russell, Who Rules the Waves? Piracy, Overfishing and Mining the Oceans (London: Pluto Press, 2010).

32. Aricò and Salpin, “Bioprospecting of Genetic Resources in the Deep Seabed,” 30.

33. Ibid., 60.

34. “From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean,” Summary Report (Global Ocean Commission, 2014).

35. Aricò and Salpin, “Bioprospecting of Genetic Resources in the Deep Seabed.”

36. Sarika Cullis-Suzuki and Daniel Pauly, “Failing the High Seas: A Global Evaluation of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations,” Marine Policy 34, no. 5 (September 2010): 1036–42; B. Worm et al., “Rebuilding Global Fisheries,” Science 325, no. 5940 (July 31, 2009): 578–85; Gjerde et al., “Ocean in Peril: Reforming the Management of Global Ocean Living Resources in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction.”

37. Gjerde et al., “Ocean in Peril.”

38. “From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean.”

39. Aricò, Ocean Sustainability in the 21st Century, 222. [End Page 72]

40. Caitlyn Toropova et al., Global Ocean Protection Present Status and Future Possibilities (Gland, Switzerland: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 2010), 7.

41. Toropova et al., Global Ocean Protection Present Status and Future Possibilities; Alison Rieser, Les Watling, and John Guinotte, “Trawl Fisheries, Catch Shares and the Protection of Benthic Marine Ecosystems: Has Ownership Generated Incentives for Seafloor Stewardship?,” Marine Policy 40 (2013): 75–83.

42. Piers K. Dunstan et al., Identifying Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas on Seamounts (Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 2011), 13.

43. International Seabed Authority, Environmental Management of Deep-Sea Chemosynthetic Ecosystems.

44. Edward T. Game et al., “Pelagic Protected Areas: The Missing Dimension in Ocean Conservation,” Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24, no. 7 (July 2009): 360–69.

45. Gjerde et al., “Ocean in Peril,” 546.

46. Toropova et al., Global Ocean Protection Present Status and Future Possibilities, 7.

47. Klaus Töpfer et al., “Charting Pragmatic Courses for Global Ocean Governance,” Marine Policy 49 (November 2014): 85–86.

48. Les Watling and Elliott A. Norse, “Disturbance of the Seabed by Mobile Fishing Gear: A Comparison with Forest Clear-Cutting,” Conservation Biology 12, no. 6 (December 1998): 1180–97.

49. Norse et al., “Sustainability of Deep-Sea Fisheries.”

50. Gjerde et al., “Ocean in Peril,” 544.

51. Malcolm R Clark et al., Seamounts, Deep-Sea Corals and Fisheries: Vulnerability of Deep-Sea Corals to Fishing on Seamounts beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction (Cambridge, United Kingdom: UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 2006), 62.

52. Gjerde et al., “Ocean in Peril.”

53. Klaus Töpfer et al., “Charting Pragmatic Courses for Global Ocean Governance,” Marine Policy 49 (November 2014): 85–86.; Karl Mathiesen, “How Satellite Technology Is Helping Fight Illegal Fishing,” The Guardian, January 4, 2016.; Ian Urbina, “Palau vs. the Poachers,” The New York Times, February 17, 2016.

54. Scott Barrett, Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 112. [End Page 73]

Additional Information

Print ISSN
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.