Skip to main content

20th. CENTURY CE DEVELOPMENTS

During World War 1 (1914-1918 CE) the use of submarines and aircraft demonstrated the inadequacy of international law with respect to freedom of the seas. Virtually all laws and treaties relating to the subject were disregarded as Great Britain strove to blockade the European continent and the German Empire attempted to isolate the British from the rest of the world. Interference by the German Empire in American trade with Great Britain was one of the causes of the entry of the United States into the war in 1917 CE.

Again during World War 2 (1936-1945 CE) the rights of neutrals were largely disregarded by the belligerent powers. This was because of the desperate urgency of both sides to utilize every means of achieving victory and because of the global character of the war.

The Charter of the United Nations (1945 CE) included a provision, Article 42, empowering the Security Council to institute partial or total interruptions of sea communications . These included blockades when necessary to maintain or restore international peace or security as per Article 42. The United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea was convened in Geneva Switzerland in 1958 CE. It defined the rights of navigation and fishing on the High Seas in time of peace. It further approved Articles defining the continental shelf and innocent passage of foreign ships through territorial waters and straits. Innocent passage was defined as maritime transit that "is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal state". Despite protracted discussion over the question of 3 nautical mile, 6 nautical mile or 12 nautical mile territorial waters, differences remained unresolved. After a second Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1960 CE the issue still remained unresolved.

The continuing disagreement over the width of territorial waters posed new threats to the freedom of the seas. In 1952 CE, Ecuador, Peru and Chile extended their claims to 200 nautical miles (370.4 Km) and seized foreign ships engaged in fishing without their permission. Several other nations also began to extend their offshore zones well beyond 12 nautical miles to exercise control over their fish stocks, commercial catches and natural resources. The increasing number and intensity of international disputes, such as the British -Iceland cod wars, resulting from such unilateral actions showed the need for a Conference. There were other problems such as the discovery of minerals in the deeper seabed and the rights to exploit them. The United Nations convened the third Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1973 CE. In 1977 CE, with the Conference still in session, the United States extended its fishing zone to 200 nautical miles, limited fishing within that area to nations that gave reciprocal rights to United States fleets. Following this action many nations established similar 200 nautical mile zones reaching fishing agreements with other countries by direct negotiation. Ordinary navigation was not restricted in these fishing zones.

A Treaty adopted at the 1982 CE session of the Law of the Sea Conference approved 12 nautical miles as the territorial limit for coastal states and 200 nautical miles as the "Exclusive Economic Zone". Thus a country's EEZ includes control over fishing rights, marine environmental protection and scientific research within their Zone. The 1982 Convention, not fully in force, covers the full range of ocean law subjects including rights on the High Seas, rules governing seabed minerals, and development beyond national jurisdiction. Along with other nations the United States has not signed this Treaty because of objections to the rules on mineral development in the international seabed.

Good Watch.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

HOW TO WEAR A LIFEJACKET

A popular U.S.-based cruise ship style
A popular European ferry style

Several times during the year NAUTICAL LOG has had visitors searching for lifejacket instructions. With two just over Christmas we decided to publish something for everybody to see and read.
Choose a Coast Guard approved life-jacket and make sure it is undamaged. Make sure life-jackets are readily accessible, never locked away. Check the fit, there are adult, child and infant sizes, the correct one MUST be used. Choose bright colour life-jackets so as to be seen easily by Search and Rescue (SAR).Put your life-jacket ON BEFORE you leave the berth. Make sure you have a light and whistle attached AND they BOTH WORK.
Good Watch

ISM CODE - AUDITING

Ships now operate under the International Management Code for Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code).  Since this is a Post on Auditing NAUTICAL LOG, who is a Trained Auditor, will not go through the requirements as these can be found on the Internet and in your local nautical bookshop - you do have a bookshop hopefully as they are a dying breed.  There are two types of Audit an External Audit and an Internal Audit.


The External Audit consists of the Flag State or an outside Auditing Firm coming into the Company and going through all the Protocols, Procedures and associated Manuals.  They may also hold a drill simulating a situation in one of the Company's vessels and observe the results of the Shore Staff dealing with it.  NAUTICAL LOG has been through this experience with two very different Companies and believe me it is a long, difficult, trying day not made any easier by the subsequent debrief.  The External Auditor then prepares a Report which causes a…

AN tSEIRBHIS CHABHLAIGH

This month saw the commissioning into the Irish Naval Service of a new Class of Irish Naval vessel more of the Frigate size than the previously Corvette size.  However they are all classed as Patrol vessels, the new vessel is LÉ Samuel Beckett P61.NAUTICAL LOG wishes her well and a successful service.


The older vessels saw unbelievable service and value for money the first being commissioned in 1979 and continued through the '80's and 90's into the 21st. Century.  During those years in addition to patrolling the stormy seas around the rugged Irish coast they made passages across the Western Ocean to the United States and Canada, south to South America as far as Argentina, and east to Asia as far as Korea.  Such passages are really remarkable for such small vessels and show the competence of Irish seafarers who as Naval Officers and Merchant Marine Officers train together.

Good Watch.