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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Law of the Sea Convention


The Law of the Sea Convention sets forth a comprehensive framework governing uses of the oceans. Adopted in 1982, and substantially modified by the 1994 Agreement relating to the deep seabed mining provisions, the Convention has been in effect since 1994. There are now 162 parties to the Convention, including almost all of the traditional allies of the United States. The 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement further implements certain provisions of the Convention. There are now 78 parties to this Agreement, including the United States.


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