Marine protected areas in the Baltic sea under international, European Union and Lithuanian law.
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In the last years domestic as well as international legislation has revealed a trend towards providing an increased protection to marine environment and establishment of various marine protected areas to serve this aim. However, such development instigates a discussion whether a coastal state has unlimited jurisdiction under international law to designate such areas in its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone. Compatibility of marine protected areas with the regime of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is analysed in part 2 of this paper. Part 3 of this paper describes various types of marine protected areas that have been designated within the waters of the Baltic Sea: Special Area under MARPOL 73/78 Convention, Particularly Sensitive Sea Area under respective regulations of the International Maritime Organization, Baltic Sea Protected Areas under Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment in the Baltic Sea Area, Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation under European Union directives as well as other areas established under Lithuanian national legislation. Legal regime associated with the status of each of the aforementioned areas and its effectiveness is also being reviewed. At the end of this paper certain conclusions as regards the system of marine protected areas in the waters of the Baltic Sea and the scope of protective measures applicable in such areas are drawn.
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