San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



With dwindling natural resources, the international community needs a legal regime to regulate the exploration of seabed resources, notably seamounts and guyouts. This Article evaluates the legal status of seamounts and guyouts under international law with suggestions on the possible uses of these phenomena, while also attempting to formulate and assess a legal regime that properly recognizes the different characteristics of the sea bed from land formations. The geological characteristics of Seamounts and guyouts are important to any legal consideration. Because seamounts and guyouts are underwater mountains formed by volcanic activity, they have many possible uses, such as for research, military bases, mineral resource development, transportation, fishing, communications, weather forecasting, territorial expansion. These possible uses prompt the necessity for determining the legal status of seamounts and guyouts, which has been lacking in current international conventions. Thus, this Article concludes by recommending the creation of an international legal organization, the International Oceans Agency, that will control the seabed.