A new era of ocean politics has been triggered by dramatic technological breakthroughs in ocean technology. Man is now more capable of using the ocean's surfaces, deeper waters, and bottoms than ever before, so consequently, worldwide commercial and political rivalries are intensifying over rights to ocean space and ocean resources. The difficulty of accommodating all the ocean's users and uses has made it a highly contentious issue among nations, transnational corporations, and special interest groups.
All ocean users are politically, physically, and economically interdependent and thus must accept international accountability. Obstacles that must be overcome include: defining seaward limits of national sovereignty and spelling out the rights to ocean resources beyond these limits; allocating privileges between coastal states and others wanting access to their adjacent offshore areas beyond national limits; assuring that powerful maritime nations will have minimum interference and maximum stability for conducting all their ocean activities; and granting less powerful nations regimes from which they can benefit in common.