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    An introduction to the law of the sea relating to hydrography including on-shore and off-shore boundary definition, delimitation zones, and the extent of continental shelves. Includes ocean policy, product liability, maritime law, and associated environmental issues.

    This paper is primarily designed to serve the training and education of hydrographic surveyors. The paper covers the legal regime of offshore territories and jurisdictions; maritime boundary formulation; liability for hydrographic products; expert witness testimony, and an introduction to marine environmental concerns.

    About this paper

    Paper title Advanced Marine Law and the Environment
    Subject Surveying
    EFTS 0.1482
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,340.02
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    216 points
    SURV 429 and SURV 458

    While an important part of a hydrographic surveying program, this paper stands alone and can be taken by any student who meets the prerequisite.

    Teaching staff
    Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Emily Tidey
    Paper Structure
    This paper - with the use of case law - covers the following:
    • Historical Development of the Law of the Sea
    • UNCLOS III and Maritime Boundaries
    • SOLAS 1974 Convention and the IMO, IHO
    • Hydrographic Surveying and Marine Research in Foreign Waters
    • Environmental Impact Assessments
    • Continental Shelf
    • Legal Liability
    • Conduct of Expert Witness
    • Effect of Surveying Operations on Marine Mammals
    Teaching Arrangements

    Lectures: Three 1-hour lectures per week.

    Blackboard Use: Information and links will be provided on Blackboard as required.

    Terms: A minimum of 50% is required in each internal assessment before a student is allowed to sit the final exam. A student who fails to meet these criteria will be allowed one resubmission during the paper - the maximum mark available for the resubmission will be 50%. A minimum of 50% is required in the final exam, regardless of the other internal assessments.

    Internal Assessment: 60%, made of a report, presentation and a mid-semester test.

    Exam: 40%, 2 hours.


    Highly recommended: UN Convention on The Law of The Sea (available online).

    Other texts are available in the Science and School of Surveying Libraries and online.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will:

    • Describe the nature of international law and the development of the international conventions that provide a basis for the law of the sea
    • Describe the nature, characteristics and delimitation of the various maritime zones and the implications on hydrographic surveying in each
    • Explain the requirements for continental shelf definition in accordance with the United Nations conventions and the methods of conducting hydrographic surveys to assist in achieving continental shelf claims to the UN
    • Describe the role of environmental assessments and their impact on hydrographic surveying activities, as well as information gained by hydrographic surveying for environmental assessments for other activities
    • Explain the concept of product liability, with particular emphasis on nautical charting, and the legal liability of the hydrographic surveyor
    • Explain the role of an expert witness, in particular in the role of a hydrographic surveyor in a maritime incident case


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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