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Bioprospecting of genetic resources in the deep seabed: scientific, legal and policy aspects

S. Arico & C. Salpin

This study aims to provide a review of the scientific, legal and policy aspects related to bioprospecting in seabed areas beyond national jurisdiction. It explores various policy options that exist to address deep seabed bioprospecting at the international level.

The study reveals a lack of information regarding the specific terms of common public-private partnerships for bioprospecting, including information on the practical applications of deep seabed genetic resources. Addtionally, the current patent classification system does not allow easy identification of patents based on the use of deep seabed genetic resources. Scientifically, the paper notes a shift from conventional to genomics and bioinformatics-driven approaches.

The current international legal framework, which comprises the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), intellectual property rights instruments, and regional marine related instruments, does not adequately address the conservation of, access to, and benefit-sharing related to, deep seabed resources.

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