Importance and Implications of Law in the Maritime Domain

Karachi, 10 August 2023 – National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA)-Karachi, a leading platform for maritime research and discussions hosted a thought-provoking event centered on the “Importance and Implications of Maritime Law” on 10th August 2023. The event’s proceedings commenced with the opening address by Vice Admiral (Retd) Ahmed Saeed HI(M), Director General, National Institute of Maritime Affairs, who welcomed all the participants and highlighted the significance of the discourse. The event brought together distinguished speakers Mr. Alex Lawson – Asst. Professor and a Law expert and Mr. M. Moazzam Khan- Technical Advisor WWF and various discussants comprising legal experts, maritime professionals, scholars, and policymakers to engage in a comprehensive dialogue about the critical role of maritime law in shaping the global maritime landscape. The maritime domain plays a pivotal role in the world economy, carrying over 80% of global trade through its vast network of shipping routes. With such economic significance, the legal framework that governs maritime activities holds paramount importance. The event delved into various dimensions of maritime law, including international conventions, national regulations, environmental protection, fishing, and security measures.

During the event, the experts shed light on the significance of international agreements and conventions such as UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) in establishing a comprehensive legal framework for maritime activities. The event also highlighted the importance of legal frameworks in ensuring maritime security against piracy, terrorism, and illicit trafficking. Discussions included the use of force at sea, piracy laws, and international cooperation in combating maritime threats. Our esteemed legal scholars, policymakers, and representatives from international organizations delved into the legal mechanisms and frameworks employed to establish and manage sustainable fisheries. Discussions encompassed rights-based approaches, quota systems, and the role of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) in preserving marine ecosystems. A key focal point was the fight against IUU fishing. Experts highlighted the legal tools, international agreements, and cooperation mechanisms that are instrumental in curbing this detrimental practice, which threatens both marine life and legal fisheries operations. The significance of recognizing and upholding the rights of indigenous and local communities in fisheries management was deliberated at length. Presentations also shed light on legal instruments that safeguard traditional fishing practices and ensure equitable access to resources.

The event emphasized the multidisciplinary nature of the fisheries sector and maritime law, involving legal, economic, environmental, and geopolitical considerations. Panelists underscored the necessity of collaboration between governments, international organizations, industry stakeholders, and legal experts to ensure harmonized maritime regulations and their implementation. Rear Admiral Imtiaz Ali HI(M), Director General, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency graced the occasion as the Chief Guest who also emphasized on the understanding and effective implementation of the law in the maritime domain for coordinated ocean governance. The event was moderated by Commodore (Retd) Ali Abbas SI(M), Director NIMA. Through this maritime discourse, the National Institute of Maritime Affairs yet again renewed its commitment to fostering informed discussions and promoting knowledge sharing within the maritime industry. The event successfully highlighted the interconnectedness of legal frameworks and the maritime sector, paving the way for a more secure, sustainable, and prosperous maritime future.

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