Law of Marine Environments and Resources


About this course

Oceans are essential for maintaining life on earth, their resources are increasingly important to the world economy and 90% of all international trade is seaborne. Creating an effective governance and regulatory regime for the oceans continues to be a challenge for the international community. Answering questions of ownership, responsibility and management in relation to marine ecosystems and resources requires knowledge of complex legal frameworks.
Some maritime activities and areas are governed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which divides oceans in coastal state maritime zones and international areas. Overlapping with this regime, there is a rich set of maritime laws that govern commercial activities (such as fisheries and aquaculture, mining and shipping); environmental laws that govern Marine Protected Areas; and general international law, which touches on issues such as piracy.
The main aim and challenge of these legal regimes is to balance the rights, interests and obligations of states, individual actors, and the international community with respect to our marine environment and resources. This course will teach you about the main legal frameworks, the key actors in these frameworks, and how both of these impact specific marine activities, and marine governance more broadly.

Skills that will be trained in this course

  • Ability to provide and receive (peer) feedback on draft assignments;
  • Research skills in the legal domain;
  • Presenting skills;
  • Ability to draft a policy brief.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Identify how the different maritime zones are regulated under the International Law of the Sea
  • Identify the different rules and principles that are relevant to the protection of marine environments and the management of its resources in different maritime zones
  • Recognise key private and public actors and institutions that create and apply the law and regulation of the sea
  • Apply legal instruments to hypothetical and actual case studies
  • Evaluate regulatory and policy-making processes affecting the protection and management of marine environments and resources and provide legal advice to relevant actors involved

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
No prior knowledge necessary. Recommended courses: Introduction to law for the life sciences (LAW12806) and/or International and EU Environmental Law (LAW22806) and/or Essential Law for the Living Environment (LAW59703).

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 6
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection course
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 February 2025

    • Ends
      7 March 2025
    • Term *
      Period 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 12 Jan 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University