However, the regime formation process has been extremely slow paced since the very beginning. Issues associated with national sovereignty and political interests of national players were arguably among the key reasons for that.
The threats are not distributed evenly between different coastal countries. As a result, domestic policies of each country seek to address those problems which are present in its coastal area while problems perceived as less serious draw much less attention. However, these problems may be primary for the neighbouring countries: this difference in assessment of threats results in numerous difficulties accompanying the attempts to find a solution acceptable for the involved parties.
Long-entrenched political interests prevent many states from giving the problem of creating effective international marine environment protection system. For example, during the negotiations over NOWPAP disputes over political issues (such as use of the name 'Sea of Japan' and legal terminology) not environmental issues dominated. Although regime building efforts have accelerated due to such events as the Nakhodka oil spill in January 1997 the overall progress in the field leaves much to be desired. Recent research into the factors that clarify the content, timing, and membership in various environmental agreements clearly demonstrates that the power and political or other interests of influential states create pressures for, or constraints on, progress in formation of effective environmental governance (Mitchell 2003).
Apart from national and political interests that can be reasonably addressed as the most serious obstacles on the way of formation of effective marine regime, the issue of fitting the new regime into the existing framework of domestic and international legislation seems to be almost equally important. Many traditional norms of international and domestic marine law must be modified and removed in order to make the new marine regime a genuinely effective tool of dealing with contemporary threats. Therefore, research and political and legislative dialogue should continue in order to find the most adequate guidance that would help create effective marine regime without going into the traditional stumbling blocks of national sovereignty, long-entrenched national interests of different kind, etc.
The tragedy of the commons is a very interesting environmental theory which involves a conflict between short-term individual interests and the common good. The basic idea of the tragedy of the commons as presented by ecologist Garrett Hardin in his famous paper is the following: free access to limited communal resources, coupled with absence of restrictions for their use will inevitably lead to negative consequences for the whole community.
Hardin demonstrates this rule using a simple example of sheep and herders, whom over-exploit a communal pasture paying attention only to selfish economic benefits, but it is also true for any other kind of resources such as water, fertile soil, forests, etc. The tragedy occurs because the benefits of exploiting such resources accrue to individuals, and each of these individuals wants to maximize use of the resource to further increase the benefits while the costs of such intensive exploitation of finite resources falls upon the whole