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Video: Making Law on the High Seas

Kristina Gjerde is an expert on the legal aspects of marine conservation and is an advisor for the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Maritime law is a challenging area of the law: because no single jurisdiction nor central authority exists, this legal field consists of a patchwork of international treaties and national legislation, leaving many loopholes and unclear situations.

As evidenced by the legal aftermath of the recently disabled cruise ship Carnival Triumph, which had been seized last year over safety concerns, ships and industrial installations can be registered and located in jurisdictions that maintain very different standards from what the general public may think.

While civil litigation involving passengers is an issue that benefits from the media spotlight to move the legal process along, disputes regarding the protection of natural resources and biodiversity are hard to solve, especially when settlements or binding judgment are opposed by nations.

From TED:

Kristina Gjerde studies the law of the high seas -- the 64 percent of our ocean that isn't protected by any national law at all. Gorgeous photos show the hidden worlds that Gjerde and other lawyers are working to protect from trawling and trash-dumping, through smart policymaking and a healthy dose of PR.

See video