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Marine Environmental Law Research Guide: 3. National Regimes

A comprehensive legal research guide on the international control, regulation and enforcement of pollution on the High Seas, created by Reed Elcott.

Check the Signatories

You're researching a particular country and want to figure out which of the numerous IMO conventions and protocols its signed on to and can't seem to find the information through any UN resources?

Why not check the IMO Status of Conventions by Country Database?

United States

United States Constitution

The Constitution's grant of Admiralty and Maritime jurisdiction is at Article III, Section 2. The Congressional Research Office's case annotations to the Constitution's grant of Admiralty and Maritime jurisdiction under Article III are available at Findlaw. See also the copy of the Constitution at the Cornell Legal Information Institute.

Admiralty Law Guide's Comprehensive U.S. Maritime Laws and Regulations

This site maintains an exhaustive and up-to-date list of all U.S. admiralty and maritime laws and regulations, including notable US case law regarding oil pollution, including the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Helpful Regional Resources

These excellent regional resources can help guide your research further  



International Marine Issues

Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Pollution Links

Australian Maritime Safety Authority —Marine Environment Protection

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS)



Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission

European Maritime Safety Agency.

New Zealand

Maritime Safety Authority of New Zealand


United States

Environment Protection Agency's Implementation of Marine Pollution Treaties and International Agreements

the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Oceanographic Data Center

U. S. shipping statistics and trends from the U. S. Maritime Administration.


The Netherlands

 Netherlands Ballast Water Working Group


Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Center 

Assists Mediterranean coastal States in the implementation of the Protocol concerning Co-operation in Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances in Cases of Emergency.  Contains information contributed by member countries in the region, technical publications, and meeting related documents.



Regional Programme for Marine Pollution Prevention and Management in the East Asian Seas region.  It has been established to work on trans-boundary environmental challenges in the region.