U.S. ability to conduct environmental and oceanographic research constrained by its non-party status to UNCLOS
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The third way in which the U.S. national Arctic policy goals would be enhanced by accession to the LOS Convention concerns the nation's commitment to enhancing scientific monitoring and research into local, regional, and global environmental issues, and measures that will ensure that natural resource management and economic development in the region are environmentally sustainable. Much of the research to accomplish those goals must necessarily be conducted in waters beyond U.S. jurisdiction. Unfortunately, U.S. oceanographers are presently at a serious disadvantage in gaining access to the offshore waters of other states. As an earlier presidential cabinet report concluded, our status as a non-party to the Convention "often slows or complicates approval for U.S. ships and aircraft access to conduct marine scientific research in foreign waters."35 One disadvantage of our non-party status that stands out is that U.S. researchers are unable to take advantage of the more favorable "implied consent" provisions for gaining access to conduct marine scientific research in other states' exclusive economic zones or on their continental shelves.36
U.S. based oceanographers and others conducting marine research are at a significant disadvantage due to U.S. non-party status to UNCLOS as they have to seek slow slow and complicated approval from foreign governments from access to their exclusive economic zones or continental shelves to conduct scientific research. Ratification of UNCLOS would resolve this because they could take advantage of the more favorable "implied consent" provisions under UNCLOS to further marine research.