The oceans are essential for maintaining life on earth, their mineral resources are increasingly important to the world economy and marine fisheries significantly contribute to ensuring food security. 90% of all international trade is seaborne and most data communication is through submarine cables. Pursuing an effective governance regime for the oceans continues to be a challenge for the international community.
The current regime for the oceans is built on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS). This framework convention divides the oceans in various coastal state maritime zones and international areas. In all these areas the legal regime seeks to maintain a balance between the rights and interests of individual states and the international community.