On March 11, 2014, governments came together in Bermuda to sign the Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea (Hamilton Declaration). The Hamilton Declaration is the result of a two-year negotiation between interested governments that are either located in the broader Sargasso Sea area or have an interest in high seas conservation.
The Hamilton Declaration is a non-binding political statement. The Signatories agree to hold a regular Meeting of Signatories and endorse the establishment of a Sargasso Sea Commission to encourage and facilitate voluntary collaboration toward the conservation of the Sargasso Sea.
The Sargasso Sea Commission has no management authority –see Annex II. It will exercise a stewardship role for the Sargasso Sea and keep its health, productivity and resilience under continual review. Management authority over the EEZ around Bermuda remains exclusively under the control of Bermuda, while management of activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction remains with the existing international and regional sectoral organizations such as the International Maritime Organization for shipping activities, and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization for fishing activities.
The description of the "area of collaboration" in the Hamilton Declaration in Annex I is a description of the Sargasso Sea ecosystem, excluding the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Territorial Sea around Bermuda. It should be clear that the management of activities and resources in the EEZ and Territorial Sea around Bermuda will not be affected in any way by the Declaration.
The Sargasso Sea Commission is envisaged to meet virtually, and with the support of a small Secretariat staff, to enable the group to function in the most cost-effective way.
Signatories and Collaborating Partners
Hamilton Meeting Participants- 11 March 2014- Bermuda.
Declaration Signatories include: Azores, Bermuda, Monaco, United Kingdom and United States.
Other interested governments are anticipated to sign the Declaration over time.
Other entities who wish to contribute to efforts to conserve the Sargasso Sea ecosystem in accordance with the Declaration, may also participate as Collaborating Partners by notifying the Secretariat.
Click here to download the full text of the Declaration.