Ratification of UNCLOS would help protect American shipping industry from excessive coastal state regulations
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One commercial navigation voice raised during the committee hearings was that of the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), an association of U.S. vessel owners and op- erators of U.S. and foreign-flag ships. CSA president Joseph Cox made the case for accession based on environmental and freedom of navigation principles. Remaining outside the Convention, cautioned Cox, put U.S.-based shipping interests in jeopardy of being burdened by coastal state regulations that have been “stretching the interpretations of the law of the sea into unrecognizable forms.” Cox referred specifically to recent actions taken off the coast of western Europe. He derided the forcible removal of the Prestige in 2002 from the exclusive economic zone of Spain when it developed a hull fracture and sought entry into safe waters. " Cox also criticized a recent designation of a large expanse of ocean stretching from the “upper reaches of the English Channel to the Straits of Gilbraltar [as] a particularly sensitive sea area [(PSSA)].” " While coastal states may designate PSSAs pursuant to International Maritime Organization principles, acknowledged Cox, he contended the designation in this instance was unsubstantiated. "