Texas A&M Law Review

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In discussions about the overexploitation of the vast oceans that lie beyond national jurisdiction, one bold proposal is to close fishing entirely on the high seas. Existing research suggests that converting the high seas into a giant reserve for fish might increase overall global fish catches by boosting fish catches within the adjoining areas of the oceans under national control. This conversion also might help to protect marine biological diversity, which is particularly important in an era of climate change. This Essay identifies the potential that the United States—a significant importer of high seas fish—might unilaterally take steps to end fishing on the high seas, using its market leverage. This Essay then analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of taking unilateral steps to end fishing on the high seas and the conditions under which the United States might take such steps.

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