Ratification of UNCLOS would not conflict with existing marine protected areas
[Question] Does UNCLOS deal with marine protected areas (MPAs) outside of the territorial sea? In particular, would UNCLOS affect the way the United States manages its non-fisheries MPAs in the Pacific? Ambassador Balton replied that UNCLOS permits, but does not require, the establishment of MPAs. He noted that the United States’ MPAs are consisted with UNCLOS. Professor Caron and Rear Admiral Kenney pointed out that not all MPAs worldwide are consistent with UNCLOS. Rear Admiral Kenney added that it is difficult to advance U.S. interests in freedom of navigation when the IMO considers designating a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) when the United States is not a party to UNCLOS.