With the continuous exploitation of the oceans that lead to its destruction, many environmental activists initiate ocean and marine life protection acts and treaties. These aim to preserve, protect, and sustain the oceans. Some of the acts and treaties are:
• Convention on Fishing and Conservation of Living Resources of the High Seas
Due to the absence of borders in high seas, conservation issues are quite difficult to resolve in the past. Moreover, there are different approaches to the exploitation of marine resources from country to country. Thus, it became an important issue for countries to work together in order to have a unified front on sustainable fishing. Its main purpose is to create a framework through which international conservation laws can be enforced on the high seas. The goal is accomplished if the conservation is mutually beneficial to everyone. Today, marine conservation became more challenging due to new fishing technologies.
• Marine Mammal Protection Act
This legislation was introduced back in 1972, which prohibit the import, export, sale, and hunting of marine mammals within the jurisdiction of the United States. People on ecotourism holidays are to keep their distance from marine mammals during their trip. This is due to a provision in the act which classifies ‘taking’ a marine mammal as ‘hunting, killing, capture, and/or harassment of any marine mammal; or, the attempt at such.’ People who are caught harassing wildlife will have to face a set of stiff penalties.
• Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972
This is also known as ‘Ocean Dumping Act’ that allows the regulation of dumping activities of industrial and municipal wastes into the oceans or other territorial waters of the United States. Its goal is to ‘prevent or strictly limit the dumping into ocean waters of any material that would adversely affect human health, welfare, or amenities, or the marine environment, ecosystems, or economic potentialities.’ Moreover, this mechanism was able to warn tourists of dangerous metal toxicities in different bodies of water. Thus, tourist can now swim, snorkel, dive, and fish in the oceans.
• United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
This law is one of the most important maritime environmental treaties because it makes clear responsibilities and rights of all nations that use the oceans. The set of regulations are used in order to protect the health and resources of the oceans from rampant overuse of individuals and businesses. In an extent, it also set national and international water boundaries, as well as the exclusive economic zones of all countries that touch the oceans.