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The Netherlands: The 2018 Agreement between The Ocean Cleanup and the Netherlands
The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law  (IF0.656),  Pub Date : 2019-04-29, DOI: 10.1163/15718085-13421090
Rozemarijn Roland Holst

The Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch non-profit organisation on a mission to develop and deploy pioneering technology to rid the oceans of plastic. Considering the unique nature of the activity and the technology involved, it is not immediately self-evident which international regulations are directly applicable to this novel use of the high seas. The Dutch government, however, pledged to support the endeavour, and entered into a tailor-made Agreement with The Ocean Cleanup in order to ensure that its activities are conducted in accordance with general international law on maritime safety, the protection of the marine environment, and other legitimate uses of the high seas. This article reflects critically on the parties’ choice to base the Agreement ‘by analogy’ on the Law of the Sea Convention’s provisions on marine scientific research, and analyses the relationship of its core provisions with applicable international law, as well as identifying potential gaps.