The study contends that fisheries was a dominant factor in the progressive development of the law of the sea, leading to the extension of resource jurisdiction of coastal States from a narrow territorial sea to the 200-mile exclusive economic zone encapsulated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Most of the world's fisheries resources fall under the jurisdiction of coastal States. Developing countries played a prominent role in bringing about the new regime. To gauge the impact of the new regime for developing countries, the distribution and production of fishery resources, the structure and pattern of international trade in fishery commodities are analysed

The constraints facing developing countries and efforts to optimise their gains, are examined. The dynamic changes brought about by the new regime, in particular for small island States, is illustrated in a case study