UN High Seas Treaty infographic
Graphic shows details of world ocean areas.


Historic ocean treaty agreed by UN member states

March 6, 2023 - After years of negotiations, the countries of the United Nations have agreed the first ever treaty to protect the world's oceans that lie outside national boundaries.

The High Seas Treaty aims to place 30% of the seas into protected areas by 2030, to safeguard and recuperate marine nature.

The agreement was reached on Saturday evening, after 38 hours of talks, at UN headquarters in New York.

The negotiations had been held up for years over disagreements on funding and fishing rights.

The last international agreement on ocean protection was signed 40 years ago in 1982 – the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

That agreement established an area called the high seas – international waters where all countries have a right to fish, ship and do research – but only 1.2% of these waters are protected.

Marine life living outside of these protected areas has been at risk from climate change, overfishing and shipping traffic, the BBC said.

PUBLISHED: 06/03/2023; STORY: Graphic News