Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



All nations recognize the enormous problem of marine pollution. The sources of marine pollution are definable, and there are methods by which these sources may be restricted. Virtually all mankind would prefer less pollution to more. Prevention, however, becomes less attractive in light of its costs, which assume both political and economic characteristics. Varying political and economic climates coupled with problems of sovereignty and national self-interest render agreement on the imposition of standards difficult. This Recent Development will chart past and present efforts at the preservation of the marine environment, consider the issues confronting the United Nations Third Conference on the Law of the Sea and the United Nations Environment Program, and attempt to predict future approaches to this area of international law.


Plaintiffs, the New York Shipping Association (NYSA) and the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO (ILA) filed a joint petition with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) for an order declaring that a formula in their collective bargaining agreement was not subject to the filing or approval requirements of section 15 of the Shipping Act of 1916. The formula in question established a method for assessing charges to fund a benefit plan created to mitigate the impact on longshoremen of unemployment caused by technological innovation. Petitioners alleged that the formula was not an agreement between persons subject to the Act and, therefore, was not within the purview of section 15. In addition, they argued that because the assessment arrangement was part of the collective bargaining agreement between NYSA and ILA, it was exempt from the provisions of the Act in all respects.