Kristina M. Gjerde, J.D.


Kristina Gjerde is the senior high seas advisor to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Gjerde used her Pew fellowship to investigate, highlight, and promote opportunities to improve high seas governance. Approximately 50 percent of the Earth’s surface consists of “high seas”—what lies beyond the 200-nautical-mile limit of national jurisdiction. The high seas, despite their remoteness from land, include some of the marine world’s most exploited and endangered areas. The international legal regime for ocean governance has had few mechanisms to implement or enforce international legal obligations for effective management, conservation, and sustainable use of the high seas. Partly as a result of her fellowship work, Gjerde has become a significant force for high seas governance and conservation. She has focused on collaborating with others to build international coalitions to move forward high seas protection. The most prominent such collaboration thus far is the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, which is putting pressure on the United Nations General Assembly to secure a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling and to protect fragile and unique pockets of life in the deep seas. In addition, Gjerde’s work has brought about a major turnaround in attitude on the part of the government of Norway. Formerly a strong critic of efforts to control the high seas, Norway now champions a ban on bottom trawling in coral reef areas and supports protection of at-risk ecosystems on the high seas. To learn more about Gjerde, visit her bio online.

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