STUDIES ON SPAIN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW: Spain and the Problems of Application of the Convention on Ballast Water in the Area of the Straits of Gibraltar. On the Invasive Alga Rugulopterix Okamurae

Author:
Jesús Verdú Baeza

Abstract:
The Strait of Gibraltar is a unique marine space with an extraordinary environmental value motivated by its geophysical conditions and by the fact of being a meeting point of two seas and two continents. This area is being devastated by the presence of an invasive alga from Asia, called Rugulopterix okamurae with an adaptive capacity and explosive growth that has surprised the scientific community. This alga not only affects ecological balances, but also disrupts economic activities such as fishing and tourism, threatening as well the public health.

All indications suggest that the introduction of the invasive seaweed occurred through some discharge of ballast water. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) is the key international instrument in the fight against the dispersion of invasive species, one of the world’s greatest ecological problems. This agreement presents certain difficulties of application, which are especially visible in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar. This area is characterized by a high legal and political unrest between the States present in the region, where the maritime spaces are not delimited, and there are not any border agreement. Additionally, as a strategic route for international navigation, the strait of Gibraltar has a particular legal regime provided for in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea limiting the powers of the coastal States.

Index:
1. INTRODUCCIÓN.—2. EL ESTRECHO DE GIBRALTAR: UN ESPACIO SINGULAR Y VULNERABLE ANTE LA ALTERACIÓN AMBIENTAL POR LAS ALGAS INVASORAS INTRODUCIDAS POR EL AGUA DE LASTRE.—3. MARCO NORMATIVO INTERNACIONAL, EUROPEO Y ESPAÑOL EN RELACIÓN CON LAS ESPECIES INVASORAS.—4. EL CONVENIO INTERNACIONAL PARA EL CONTROL Y LA GESTIÓN DEL AGUA DE LASTRE Y LOS SEDIMENTOS DE LOS BUQUES (CONVENIO BWM).—5. EL CONVENIO BWM Y EL ÁREA DEL ESTRECHO DE GIBRALTAR.—6. CONCLUSIONES

Keywords:
alga Rugulopterix okamurae; Convention BWM; invasive species; straits of Gibraltar;

Issue:
REDI Vol. 72 2 2020

Section:
Studies

Pages:
261-287

DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.17103/redi.72.2.2020.1b.04

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