Exploiting the last ocean : The effectiveness of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, 1982-2000
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
In the late 1990s the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) faced a shock caused by the illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing of marine resources in the Southern Ocean. This challenge has the potential to undermine the credibility of the ATS and it also reveals the extent of the threat posed to the ecosystem of the Southern Ocean by commercial exploitation without adequate scientific understanding. Although the Patagonian toothfish faces commercial extinction, and despite the unsustainable incidental mortality inflicted on the seabirds of the Southern Ocean, the CCAMLR regime may be transformed by this shock into a more effective environmental regime. This will be demonstrated by an analysis relying on the use of regime theory to investigate the effectiveness of CCAMLR in responding to the IUU fishing problems. In developing the analysis of CCAMLR theory relating to epistemic communities and regime change will also be explored. The background to the establishment of the ATS will be briefly covered. The development of CCAMLR will be assessed in two parts. The first part looks at the development of CCAMLR before IUU fishing became a serious problem. The second part is a close focus on the development of the IUU fishing problems and the reaction by CCAMLR and its member states. The thesis finds that while CCAMLR has experienced a phase of creative tension leading to improved effectiveness in the past, currently it is pushing the limits of rational use of marine living resources in the Southern Ocean.