The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 enters into force November 16, 1994. Most important, because of agreement reached in the United Nations July 29 to a series of amendments to the deep seabed mining part of the treaty, the Convention is now widely agreed upon by the major maritime powers including the United States.
What effect, if any, will its entering into force have on those who do science at sea? I believe the new Convention may ease the difficulties we have had in recent years in gaining access to waters whose resources are controlled by other nations. Improvement in the clearance process will not happen, however, unless our State Department and the foreign offices of other major oceanographic nations take full advantage of all parts of this complicated treaty.