Maritime trade officially began in the year 1648, when the Treaty of Westphalia confirmed the ideas set out by Hugo Grotius, who said that the sea should be open for international trade. This evolved further in the year 1982, when the first collaborative effort to establish a maritime security organization, with ocean law framework in place, was established. Because over 90% of the entire World’s trade occurs by the sea, it is important for its entirety to be carefully preserved in order to ensure that successful trade is not threatened. Numerous developments were made in these laws that established power over things like general security and trading practices.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is especially dedicated to combating pirates, addressing safety issues and helping reduce the surge of piracy around the coast of Somalia and surrounding countries. Since maritime piracy had doubled in the year 2008, over forty countries have begun to patrol the Gulf of Aden to help protect sailors and goods. In addition to combating pirate activities, the group was successful in establishing countermeasures to the trade of drugs and narcotics overseas. Three separate conventions, which had occurred between 1961 and 1988, had resulted in much stricter protective policies to be enacted on maritime trade, especially around problem areas. The control measures that were provided by these treaties immediately resulted in the decrease of narcotics and legal drugs being traded on the black market, but the organization’s goals are far from over.
To learn more about international maritime trade laws, checkout the infographic below created by Norwich University’s Master of Arts in Diplomacy online program.