JEAIL > Volume 12(2); 2019 > Issue Focus
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2019

Reasonable Restrictions on Freedom of High Seas by “Marine Protected Areas on the High Seas”: An Empirical Research

Yong Wang
International Law School, East China University of Political Science and Law, No. 1575 Wan hangdu Road, Shanghai, China, 200042.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The UN member states have been consulting on the establishment of high seas MPAs under the BBNJ Agreement since December 2017.This issue brings about the potential conflicts between the jurisdiction of the high seas MPAs and the traditional freedom of the high seas. Although it is generally accepted that the freedom of the high seas can be reasonably restricted, it is acknowledged that there are great controversies among States on the specific forms, approaches and applicable scopes of the restrictions of the high seas freedoms by the high seas MPAs. At present, there are four recognized high seas MPAs in the world. The practice of these four MPAs contributes positively to the interpretation of the reasonable restrictions on the freedom of the high seas. Accordingly, this paper concludes that the international community should gradually carry forward future restrictions on the freedom of the high seas with some suggestions.

Keywords : High Seas Marine Protected Areas, Freedom of the High Seas, Reasonable Restrictions, Positivist Analysis

View the Full Text