The governance of the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies is complex, endlessly fascinating and often politically charged. There is no area where this complexity is more demonstrable than in the marine environment, where the issues of extended maritime boundaries granted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fishing and prospecting rights, marine conservation and competing sovereignty mean that the practical application of the law in this area is particularly difficult to interpret. This complex environment makes it challenging to undertake conservation activities. This paper focuses on the Mauritius and UK arbitration over Chagos Islands and through analysis of this case study explores marine governance issues for the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies in general. In particular the paper explores the difficulties of restricting fishing activities where because of the long established mare liberum doctrine the world's oceans have traditionally been treated as a fishery.
Appleby, T. (2015, July). Governance in the marine environment. Presented at Sustaining Partnerships : A Conference on Conservation and Sustainability in the UK Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and other small island communities