In the last few years, the quantity of books and papers on the political, economic and legal problems of the exploration and use of the sea and marine resources has considerably increased. But the status and activities of intern a tional organizations related to maritime shipping, fisheries, scientific research in the World Ocean and the protection of the marine environment have not yet, as a whole, been represented in the scientific and reference literature. It would be fair, though, to mention that some general information on marine international organizations may be found in the Yearbook of International Organizations, Brussels, 1979; in Annotated Acronyms and Abbreviations of Marine Science Related International Organizations, U. S. Department of Commerce, 1976; and in the UN Annotated Directory ofIntergovernmental Organizations Concerned with Ocean Affairs, 1976. Voluminous informa tion on organizations engaged in problems of the exploration and use ofthe sea is given in International Marine Organizations by the well-known Polish scientists Lopuski and Symonides, 1978. Meanwhile the increasing volume of practical work related to the participa tion of governmental and scientific bodies as well as individual scientists and specialists in these organizations, the necessity of long-term planning in this field, and the perspectives of the development of these organizations, make necessary a special publication depicting the structure and many-sided activi ties of such international bodies. This book is the first one in which the most complete information on the main marine international organizations is presented.