U.S. ad hoc approach to ocean policy is counter to UNCLOS and necessary efforts at global cooperation for marine conservation
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Moreover, individual state sovereignty over coastal territory is a basic foundation of the U.S. political scheme. Additionally, "federal versus state control over the newly acquired territorial sea is one of the major controversies raised by the most recent legislative proposals."' If individual U.S. states maintain control over the territorial sea off their coasts, they will be responsible both financially and legally for pollution control and cleanup in that area. Such piecemeal regulation could result in "varying degrees of marine protection throughout the United States."81
The internal conflict over exercising state and national sovereignty in the ocean territory has taken precedence over international interests. As a result, U.S. policy is adverse to the UNCLOS mandate to harmonize resource use and conservation activities with other states to achieve uniformity in global environmental legislation.82 Moreover, when problems arise, the United States at times violates the UNCLOS spirit, and possibly its directives, by failing to cooperate with other states in addressing the problems. Rather, the United States elects to act unilaterally, thereby violating rights delegated to other states under UNCLOS.83
The U.S. government's policy of pursuing a "quick fix" to environmental issues by enacting ad hoc domestic legislation and failing to negotiate comprehensive international agreements conflicts with UNCLOS' goal of global cooperation. Moreover, the U.S. unilateral actions often encourage other states to retaliate by initiating their own trade restrictions.84 In the long run, the U.S. policy undermines UNCLOS and the goal of global coop- eration in marine resource protection.