The UN will take steps to protect the high seas. In two years time, government representatives will attempt to conclude in a binding agreement to protect these areas from over-exploitation.
High seas are the open ocean far from coastlines and are currently threatened by deep-sea mining, over-fishing and the patenting of marine genetic resources, according to BBC.
Now, a number of government will try to establish an agreement to protect these areas against over-exploitation, as experts believe that they capture about 90% of the extra heat and about 26% of the excess carbon dioxide created by humans.
The new treaty will likely have three elements. First, it will allow the creation of Marine Protected Areas in international waters. In addition, a new agreement would also allow environmental impact assessments, in order to protect them against potential harm from activities on the high seas. Finally, a new legally binding deal will allow poorer countries to gain from any discoveries developed from marine genetic resources.
Nevertheless, many nations, including the US, are reluctant to support the treaty. Regarding the US, it rejected the Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) treaty back in 1994, while some whale-hunting countries, such as Japan, Iceland and Norway, are also reluctant as they fear it will restrict their fishing operations. In addition, Russia also seems to not be very open to the new treaty.