U.S. interests in protecting marine environment would be furthered by being a party to UNCLOS
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Sustainability. The Convention also supports U.S. interests in the health of the world’s oceans and the living resources they contain. It addresses marine pollution from
a variety of sources, including ocean dumping and operational discharges from vessels. The framework appropriately balances the interests of the coastal State in protection of the marine environment and its natural resources with the navigational rights and freedoms of all States. This framework, among other things, supports vital economic activities off the coast of the United States. Further, the United States has stringent laws regulating protection of the marine environment, and we would be in a stronger position as a party to the Convention as we encourage other countries to follow suit.
The Convention also promotes the conservation of various marine resources. Indeed, U.S. ocean resource-related industries strongly support U.S. accession to the Convention. U.S. fishermen, for example, want their government to be in the strongest possible position to encourage other governments to hold their fishermen to the same standards we are already following, under the Convention and under the Fish Stocks Agreement that elaborates the Convention’s provisions on straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks.
U.S. ratification of UNCLOS will have a positive effect on the environment as the conservation of ocean wildlife, the protection of delicate marine ecosystems, and the control of marine pollution are by their very nature multilateral issues. U.S. ratification will demonstrate U.S. commitment to address these problems in a cooperative manner at a time when some view U.S. policy as generally antithetical to multilateral arrangements. The environmental community strongly favors UNCLOS and U.S. ratification would send a message of support