Law of the Sea Convention

Date: 12/09/2011 Description: USS Bunker Hill and USS Gridley, a USN cruiser and a USN destroyer underway in the Pacific, 12 December 2010. © USGThe Law of the Sea Convention sets forth a comprehensive legal framework governing uses of the ocean. Adopted in 1982 and substantially modified by a 1994 Agreement relating to its deep seabed mining provisions, the Convention has been in force since 1994 and currently has more than 165 parties. The 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement further implements certain provisions of the Convention and has 86 parties, including the United States.

The Law of the Sea Convention was transmitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent in 1994. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in support of joining the Convention in 2004 and in 2007. A vote of the full Senate has not taken place. Relevant U.S. industry and other groups support joining the Convention.