Taiwan has an abundance of marine resources and is located at a place of strategic importance to international sea transportation. The preamble of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) states: The States Parties to this Convention “recognize the desirability of establishing through this Convention, with due regard for the sovereignty of all States, a legal order for the seas and oceans which will facilitate international communication, and will promote the peaceful uses of the seas and oceans, the equitable and efficient utilization of their resources, the conservation of their living resources, and the study, protection and preservation of the marine environment.” The government of the R.O.C. is promoting and improving the domestic law of the sea and defending the nation’s marine rights on the basis of rights set forth in the UNCLOS, in order to provide citizens with a safe marine environment, conserve marine resources, develop a forward-looking and prosperous marine industry, improve marine education and culture, develop marine science and technology, and thereby develop a strong ocean nation.
The Ocean Affairs Council is responsible for the marine affairs, laws, and policies of the R.O.C. Hence, it has directed its efforts into the legislation of ocean related laws, which cover marine safety, ocean resources conservation, marine industry development, marine talent cultivation, marine science and technology development, and expansion of Taiwan’s marine diplomacy. In order to integrate the actual planning of ocean policy and legal practices, the Ocean Affairs Council, together with departments of the Executive Yuan and local governments, established the Ocean Basic Act, which serves as the highest guiding principle for the ocean policy of the R.O.C. The law was enacted after taking into consideration domestic and overseas oceanic developments, opinions of the Legislative Yuan and public discourse, and the opinions of the private sector and academia gathered through public-private partnerships.