Apollo is a developing nation with a lengthy coastline. In recent years it has struggled
to control activities in its sizeable exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Large numbers of
foreign-flagged vessels have been fishing illegally in Apollo’s EEZ. Many of these
vessels are registered in Perseus, a country that neighbours Apollo to its north. Apollo
has also had difficulty controlling foreign-flagged bunkering vessels that are refuelling
fishing vessels on the high seas and in Apollo’s EEZ. Hundreds of foreign-flagged
cruise ships have also been navigating through Apollo’s pristine emerald-green waters
and several have discharged large quantities of untreated sewage during their
passage. Most of these bunkering vessels and cruise ships are registered in Nereus,
a country that neighbours Apollo to its south.
In response to rising public concern over diminishing fish stocks and declining water
quality, Apollo has implemented a suite of new measures against vessels operating in
its EEZ. It has been provided with five new patrol vessels by Zeus, a developed country
with a large aid program, a substantial proportion of which is devoted to supporting
developing countries improve maritime surveillance and enforcement. The patrol
vessels are operated jointly by the Apollo Fisheries Management Agency (AFMA) and
the Apollo Maritime Safety Agency (AMSA), agencies of the Apollo government.
Apollo’s Fisheries and Marine Environmental Protection Act 2021 (FMEPA), passed
in January 2021, includes the following provisions:
Section 9 makes it an offence for any vessel to enter Apollo’s EEZ and territorial
sea without providing advance notice to AMSA. The penalties that may be imposed
against masters include a maximum fine of 1,000 Euros.
Section 10 makes it an offence for a foreign-flagged fishing vessel to enter or
undertake fishing in Apollo’s EEZ without obtaining a licence from AFMA. The
penalties that may be imposed against masters and crew include a maximum fine
of 10,000 Euros and up to six months imprisonment.
Section 11 gives AFMA authority to board, inspect, seize and confiscate any fishing
vessel within Apollo’s EEZ, contiguous zone, territorial sea and internal waters at
any time without advance notice or warning.
Section 12 makes it an offence for any vessel to supply fuel oil to foreign-flagged
fishing vessels on in Apollo’s EEZ or on the high seas if those vessels subsequently
undertake fishing in Apollo’s EEZ without a permit. The penalties that may be
imposed against masters and crew include a maximum fine of 20,000 Euros and
up to six months imprisonment.Section 13 gives AMSA authority to board, inspect, seize and confiscate any
bunkering vessel in Apollo’s EEZ, contiguous zone, territorial zone, and internal
waters if there is reasonable suspicion that the vessel has supplied fuel oil to fishing
vessels that have undertaken fishing in Apollo’s EEZ without a permit.
Section 14 makes it an offence for any vessel to discharge any pollutant or dispose
of any waste in Apollo’s EEZ or territorial sea unless a permit has been obtained
from AMSA. The penalties that may be imposed against masters and crew include
a maximum fine of 10,000 Euros and up to six months imprisonment.
Section 15 gives AMSA authority to board, inspect and seize any vessel in Apollo’s
EEZ, contiguous zone, territorial sea and internal waters if there is reasonable
suspicion that the vessel has discharged any pollutant or disposed of any waste in
Apollo’s EEZ or territorial sea.
In March 2021 AFMA detected a fishing vessel registered in Pereus in Apollo’s EEZ.
AFMA arrested the vessel and escorted it to port in Apollo, where the master and crew
were charged with contraventions of Sections 9 and 10 of FMEPA.
In April 2021 a bunkering vessel registered in Nereus called in port in Apollo where it
was arrested by AMSA on suspicion of supplying fuel oil to foreign flagged fishing
vessels on the high seas which then engaged in fishing in Apollo’s EEZ. The master
and crew were charged with an offence under Section 12 of FMEPA.
In May 2021 a cruise ship registered in Nereus was arrested in Apollo’s EEZ after it
was detected discharging a small volume of treated sewage in Apollo’s EEZ. It was
escorted to port, where the master was charged with contravening Section 14 of
Apollo, Nereus and Perseus are parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the
Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). On depositing its instrument of ratification, Apollo made
the following declaration:
‘The Government of Apollo declares that it chooses the International Court of
Justice for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application
of the Convention. The Government of Apollo is not obliged to accept the
submission to settlement of any dispute concerning the protection and preservation
of the marine environment of its exclusive economic zone or territorial sea.’
Nereus and Perseus made no declarations on signature, ratification or subsequently.
Nereus and Perseus are exploring the options available to them to challenge the
legality of Apollo’s actions against their registered vessels and have sought
your advice as an expert in the international law of the sea. Write a memorandum
that assesses the legality of Apollo’s FMEPA and its enforcement actions, and
which examines the ways in which Nereus and Perseus could challenge these
Reference should from UNCLOS, the uploaded materials, and the decisions of ITLOS and other
international courts and tribunals.
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