Legal Issues relating to Undersea Areas
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This paper addresses the rarely discussed issue of underwater areas. The author draws attention to the political and economic importance of areas on the sea bed, both those areas that are under jurisdiction and those that are beyond any jurisdiction. In particular the article discusses international treaties relating to the sea bed. First, it analyzes the 2001 Paris Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. Next, it discusses the new Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks (2007). A further part of the article presents the decision to protect the wreck of the 'Estonia' ferry (the Tallinn Agreement of 1995) and the old Paris Convention (1884) on the protection of submarine cables. Finally, the author draws attention to the relatively low amount of interest of national legislation in issues connected with underwater areas and proposes concrete changes and additions to Polish maritime law.
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