Dennis W. Arrow


The United States and some of its major allies have been negotiating for some time concerning the establishment of an “alternative” seabed mining regime. Before confronting this issue, however, several threshold issues will be addressed. These will include descriptions of the nodule mining venture, the proposed UNCLOS regime to govern it, and the most recent developments in the U.S. backed “alternative” or reciprocating states” regime. After addressing the “objective regime” hypothesis, a strategy for avoiding potential U.S. estoppel to deny the validity of UNCLOS’ seabed mining regulations will be explored. Finally, possible scenarios for future seabed regulations and their attendant legislative and political ramifications will be explored.