Experts Gather at Boalt Hall to Address Environmental Crisis Facing Ocean Waters

Contact: Erin Campbell, Communications Dept., 510-643-8010,

Berkeley, CA – The deteriorating condition of ocean environments and a startlingly rapid depletion of once- abundant fisheries will be among the topics addressed at Bringing New Law to Ocean Waters, an international conference being held this Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).

Ocean affairs experts from seven countries will address international law and new regulations focused on promoting sustainable development and supporting ecological preservation and balance in ocean waters. In addition to analyzing the effects of United Nations initiatives on fisheries and international rulings, panelists will discuss such topics as the impact of the World Trade Organization on enforcement of ocean environment regulations, legal protection of treasures involving the underwater cultural heritage, reparation claims for damage incurred during the Gulf War, the mining of genetic resources from the seabed, and legal issues concerning national boundaries at sea.

The conference is being organized by Boalt Professors Harry N. Scheiber and David D. Caron. “We have been particularly fortunate,” Professor Scheiber states, “to attract such leading international figures as Judges Choon-ho Park of Korea and Tullio Treves of Italy, who are members of the U.N. International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, as well as renowned academics including William Burke of the University of Washington and Moritaka Hayashi of Waseda University, formerly the head of fisheries for the Food and Agricultural Organization.” In addition to the panel discussions, Professor Caron will deliver a paper regarding his service as U.S. representative on the U.N. compensation commission dealing with environmental damage from the Gulf War.

Among the leading sponsors of the conference are the Center for the Study of Law and Society, and the Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley, and the California Sea Grant Program.

The conference will take place in room 140 at Boalt Hall. Panel discussions begin at 9:15 a.m. on Friday, April 5, and run until 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s discussions will be held from 9:15 to noon.