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The courts ignored the currents.

The courts ignored the currents

When the International Court of Justice at The Hague determined in October 1984 where the northeastern maritime boundary between Canada and the United States should fall, they may have thought they were finally putting to rest a two-century dispute over some of the world's richest fishing grounds. Unfortunately, says oceanographer David A. Brooks, the court made its decision by geometrically dividing the waters in the Gulf of Maine and the Georges Bank, with little regard for attorneys' arguments about currents or other oceanographic, geological and ecological factors critical to fisheries. As a result, he says, "the fisheries issue that created the controversy in the first place was not resolved.'

According to Brooks, of Texas A & M University in College Station, this was the first time two nations had agreed in advance to abide by the court's decision, but neither is happy with the outcome. Even before the line was declared, the competition over resources had led to overfishing of several species, Brooks says. He thinks one solution would be for a commission to address the problem of fisheries management on a scientific basis.
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Title Annotation:maritime boundary between U.S. and Canada set by International Court of Justice
Author:Weisburd, Stefi
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 7, 1986
Previous Article:Kramer vs. Kramer in real life.
Next Article:Field-test ups and downs.

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