The Fractured Ocean: Current Challenges to Maritime Policy in the Wider Atlantic
This paper examines the challenges posed by human activity on the Atlantic Ocean itself, and around its coasts, looking at it not so much as a vast expanse separating the Americas from Africa and Europe but rather as a shared resource and an important connector. All littoral states face a common challenge in maintaining its value as a foundation for sustained “blue growth” in the years to come. In Chapter 1, Armando Marques Guedes traces the evolution of the economic activities that have determined the geoeconomic development of the Atlantic and of the complex web of international relations that have grown up as a result. In Chapter 2, Xavier de la Gorce and Anne-François de Saint-Salvy examine the development of illegal activities on the Atlantic. Chapter 3, written by Paul Holthus, de la Gorce, and de Saint Salvy, takes a look at fisheries in the Atlantic Basin. It paints a picture of the overexploitation of one of the planet’s most valuable living resources and shows how this has led to the decline of fish and shellfish stocks in the northern hemisphere and is now threatening to do the same in the South Atlantic. Chapter 4, written by Holthus, investigates the exploitation of the resources of the Atlantic, both living and mineral, including renewable energy. The paper concludes that a forum needs to be created within which the southern countries can share their own ideas on ocean governance and maritime policy and profit from the experience of the North.