Document Type : Article
Assistant Prof., Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
The collapse of the Soviet Union created a legal vacuum regarding fisheries management of the Caspian Sea. This vacuum greatly contributed to the steady decline of the Caspian living resources. In particular, the Caspian Sea’s valuable stocks of sturgeon were endangered to the point of extinction. The critical situation of the sturgeon stocks led to the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES Convention) with respect to these stocks. This convention effectively brought trade in Caspian sturgeon under international supervision. Meanwhile, efforts by the Caspian coastal states to establish a new fisheries management regime produced the 2014 Agreement on Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Aquatic Biological Resources of the Caspian Sea. Furthermore, the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, which was signed in 2018 by the five presidents of the Caspian states, adds new elements to the fisheries management regime. The main question of the present paper is: what is the legal regime of fisheries management in Caspian Sea? The findings of this study suggest that while the necessary legal framework for the integrated and institutionalized management of the Caspian Sea’s living resources has been established, the efficacy of the new regime depends on the adoption and implementation of effective conservation and management measures by the Caspian coastal states.
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