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China adopts first law on deep sea floor exploration

China has passed law on deep seafloor
resource exploration for the
first time in the country’s history.

The legislation, which will be enforced as
of May 1, 2016, will aim to protect the maritime environment and ensure sustainable
exploitation of the nation’s marine resources.
According to national news outlet, Xinhua,
the government is attempting to encourage and support international cooperation
on the exploration, exploitation and surveys of deep seafloor resources while
trying to boost efforts on environmental protection, scientific research and
educational training.
The new rules will require deep seabed
prospectors to submit their plans to maritime authorities, to await approval.
Once this has been granted, the plans can be submitted to the International
Seabed Authority.
Fines associated with the legislation
could reach US$150,000 for contractors if the area is polluted as a result of
their activity.
The law additionally mandates the Chinese
government to develop deep-sea technology according to Xinhua. The State’s
Oceanic Administration had voiced fears that the country was well behind other
developed nations in terms of technology.
Credit: Baird Maritime

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