We begin our discussion of the creation of international agreements to manage ocean resources – regime formation, in the vocabulary of political scientists – by considering the case of the North Pacific Fur Seal Treaty. This treaty was signed in 1911, after about two decades of on-off self-interest-seeking negotiations between the interested parties – the USA, Russia, Japan and the UK (for Canada) – and then only after fur seal stocks were recognized as having fallen to critically low levels. We will also discuss some cases where regime formation has largely failed, remarkably, even after agreements had been signed. The discussion points to difficulties that arise at either the negotiation or the implementation phases. Attention first turns to the fur seal treaty, the aim being to illustrate the sort of problems that must be resolved for an effective international governance regime to be formed.