Exclusive Economic Zone

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Exclusive Economic Zone

Background

By Tatjana Rosen

Historical Background

The expressions “patrimonial sea”, “economic zone” or “exclusive economic zone” were first used in the early 1970s in regional meetings and organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. However, the concept of an extended exclusive economic zone for economic purposes was already used in the late 40s and early 50s: it is rooted in the 1945 Truman Proclamations (on the natural resources of the subsoil and sea bed of the continental shelf and the conservation of coastal fisheries in certain areas of the high seas), the national claims of several Latin American countries (Chile and Peru), and the Santiago Declaration of 1952. The second Truman Proclamation has in particular influenced ocean-related policies in Latin American countries, especially where it states that it is appropriate for the United States “to establish conservation zones…where fishing activities have been or in the future may be developed (..)”.

The 1952 Santiago Declaration. The Santiago Declaration in its preamble affirms that “governments are bound to ensure for their peoples access to necessary food supplies and to furnish them with the means of developing their economy”. The declaration also affirms how the economic zone should extend no less than 200 miles from the coast. The motivation for the establishment of the zone was economic; there is anecdotal evidence that the basis for the 200-mile breadth was a map in a magazine article discussing the 1939 Panama Declaration, in which the United Kingdom and the United States agreed to establish a zone of security and neutrality around the American continents in order to prevent the re-supplying of Axis ships in South American ports. The map showed the breadth of the neutrality zone off the Chilean coast to be about 200 miles.

The 1964 European Fisheries Convention. In Europe, the economic zone, conceived more as a fisheries area, did not have the magnitude and sweep of the American equivalent. After failing to address fisheries zones in the 1958 and 1960 Geneva Conventions, the 1964 European Fisheries Convention provided among other things that each coastal State had the exclusive right to fish in a 6-mile belt measured from the baselines of its territorial sea; it also provided that in the area between the 6-mile limit and 12 miles from the baseline, other States known to have fished in that area between 1953 and 1962 had the right to continue doing so. This was an effort to reconcile th desire of coastal States to extend their jurisdiction over a greater portion of the sea and yet preserve fishing rights of other States.

The 1970 Declaration of the Latin American States on the law of the sea. This later declaration further added that the decision to extend the jurisdiction beyond the territorial sea limits is a consequence of “the dangers and damage resulting from indiscriminate and abusive practices in the extraction of marine resources” as well as the “utilization of the marine environment” giving rise to “grave dangers of contamination of the waters and disturbance of the ecological balance”.

UNCLOS

Under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the exclusive economic zone or EEZ is covered by Articles 56, 58 and 59. The EEZ is defined as that portion of the seas and oceans extending up to 200 nautical miles in which [[coast]al] States have the right to explore and exploit natural resources as well as to exercise jurisdiction over marine science research and environmental protection. Freedom of navigation and over flight, laying of submarine cables and pipelines, as well as other uses consented on the high seas, are still allowed.

As currently codified in UNCLOS, the EEZ marks a compromise between States seeking a 200-mile territorial sea and States wishing for more limited coastal jurisdiction.

The delimitation of EEZs between States with opposite or adjacent [[coast]s] has to be carried out through a parties agreement in accordance with international law in order to achieve – as in the words of article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice – an equitable solution. Since also in the delimitation of the continental shelf the goal is to achieve an equitable solution, many States have advocated that a single maritime boundary – valid for both the EEZ and the continental shelf – should be drawn. This provision alone has generated many delimitation disputes brought before the International Court of Justice. In the Jan Mayen Maritime Delimitation (Denmark v. Norway) case, the International Court of Justice declared that, absent a special agreement of the parties asking the Court to use a single maritime boundary applicable to both the continental shelf and the EEZ, separate boundaries must be drawn.

At this time, 104 signatories to the UNCLOS have declared a 200-mile EEZ.

Articles of the Treaty

Article 55
Specific legal regime of the exclusive economic zone

The exclusive economic zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the
territorial sea, subject to the specific legal regime established in this
Part, under which the rights and jurisdiction of the coastal State and the
rights and freedoms of other States are governed by the relevant provisions
of this Convention.

Article 56
Rights, jurisdiction and duties of the coastal State in the
exclusive economic zone

1. In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has:
(a) sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting,
conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or
non-living, of the waters superjacent to the sea-bed and of the
sea-bed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the
economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the
production of energy from the water, currents and winds;
(b) jurisdiction as provided for in the relevant provisions of this
Convention with regard to:
(i) the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations
and structures;
(ii) Marine Scientific Research ;
(iii) the protection and preservation of the marine environment;
(c) other rights and duties provided for in this Convention.

2. In exercising its rights and performing its duties under this Convention
in the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State shall have due regard to
the rights and duties of other States and shall act in a manner compatible
with the provisions of this Convention.

3. The rights set out in this article with respect to the sea-bed and
subsoil shall be exercised in accordance with Part VI.

Article 57
Breadth of the exclusive economic zone

The exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from
the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

Article 58
Rights and duties of other States
in the exclusive economic zone

1. In the exclusive economic zone all States, whether coastal or
land-locked, enjoy, subject to the relevant provisions of this Convention,
the freedoms referred to in article 87 of navigation and overflight and of
the laying of submarine cables and pipelines, and other internationally
lawful uses of the sea related to these freedoms, such as those associated
with the operation of ships, aircraft and submarine cables and pipelines,
and compatible with the Other provisions of this Convention.

2. Articles 88 to 115 and other pertinent rules of international law apply
to the exclusive economic zone in so far as they are not incompatible with
this Part.

3. In exercising their rights and performing their duties under this
Convention in the exclusive economic zone, States shall have due regard to
the rights and duties of the coastal State and shall comply with the laws
and regulations adopted by the coastal State in accordance with the
provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law in so
far as they are not incompatible with this Part.

Article 59
Basis for the resolution of conflicts regarding the
attribution of rights and jurisdiction in the exclusive
economic zone

In cases where this Convention does not attribute rights or jurisdiction to
the coastal State or to other States within the exclusive economic zone,
and a conflict arises between the interests of the coastal State and any
other State or States, the conflict should be resolved on the basis of
equity and in the light of all the relevant circumstances, taking into
account the respective importance of the interests involved to the parties
as well as to the international community as a whole.

Article 60
Artificial islands, installations and structures in the
exclusive economic zone

1. In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State shall have the
exclusive right to construct and to authorize and regulate the
construction, operation and use of:
(a) artificial islands;
(b) installations and structures for the purposes provided for in article
56 and other economic purposes;
(c) installations and structures which may interfere with the exercise of
the rights of the coastal State in the zone.

2. The coastal State shall have exclusive jurisdiction over such artificial
islands installations and structures, including jurisdiction with regard to
customs fiscal health, safety and immigration laws and regulations.

3. Due notice must be given of the construction of such artificial islands,
installations or structures, and permanent means for giving warning of
their presence must be maintained. Any installations or structures which
are abandoned or disused shall be removed to ensure safety of navigation,
taking into account any generally accepted international standards
established in this regard by the competent international organization.
Such removal shall also have due regard to fishing, the protection of the
marine environment and the rights and duties of other States. Appropriate
publicity shall be given to the depth, position and dimensions of any
installations or structures not entirely removed.

4. The coastal State may, where necessary, establish reasonable safety
zones around such artificial islands, installations and structures in which
it may take appropriate measures to ensure the safety both of navigation
and of the artificial islands, installations and structures.

5. The breadth of the safety zones shall be determined by the coastal
State, taking into account applicable international standards. Such zones
shall be designed to ensure that they are reasonably related to the nature
and function of the artificial islands, installations or structures, and
shall not exceed a distance of 500 metres around them, measured from each
point of their outer edge, except as authorized by generally accepted
international standards or as recommended by the competent international
organization. Due notice shall be given of the extent of safety zones.

6. All ships must respect these safety zones and shall comply with
generally accepted international standards regarding navigation in the
vicinity of artificial islands, installations, structures and safety zones.

7. Artificial islands, installations and structures and the safety zones
around them may not be established where interference may be caused to the
use of recognized sea lanes essential to international navigation.

8. Artificial islands, installations and structures do not possess the
status of islands. They have no territorial sea of their own, and their
presence does not affect the delimitation of the territorial sea, the
exclusive economic zone or the Continental Shelf .

 

Conclusion

Notes

See Also

References and Further Reading

Attard D.J. 1986. The Exclusive Economic Zone in International Law. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN: 0198256825
Kwiatowska B. 1989. The 200 Mile Exclusive Economic Zone in the New Law of the Sea. Springer, Dordrecht. ISBN: 0792300742

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Archipelagic States, Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa 2, Buenos Aires Draft Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, Constitutional Text: Brazil Constitution of 1988, Continental Shelf, Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, Exclusive Economic Zone 2, Exclusive Economic Zone 3, Exclusive Economic Zone 4, High Seas 3, High Seas, International Law Encyclopedia 3, List of International Law Selected Cases, by Subject, MPEPIL: International economic law and relations, MPEPIL: Law of the sea, MPEPIL: Public Law: E, MPEPIL: Territory, Marine Scientific Research 2, Marine Scientific Research 3, Marine Scientific Research, Marine and Coastal conventions, Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific Region, Other provisions, Protection & Preservation of the Marine Environment 2, Protection & Preservation of the Marine Environment 4, Protection & Preservation of the Marine Environment 5, Protection & Preservation of the Marine Environment 6, Public International Law Classification (Max Planck Institute), Regime of Islands Enclosed or Semi-Enclosed Seas, Settlement of Disputes 3, Straits used for International Navigation, Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 19, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 2, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 20, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 21, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 22, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 23, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 24, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 25, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 26, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 29, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 3, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 32, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 33, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 34, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 35, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 36, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 4, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 6, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Exclusive Economic Zone

Embracing mainstream international law, this section on exclusive economic zone explores the context, history and effect of the area of the law covered here.

Exclusive Economic Zone

Resources

See Also

Further Reading

Resources

Further Reading

  • The entry “exclusive economic zone” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press

Hierarchical Display of Exclusive economic zone

Law > International law > Public international law > Law of the sea
Environment > Environmental policy > Environmental policy > Management of resources > Exploitation of resources > Exploitation of the seas
Agriculture, Forestry And Fisheries > Fisheries > Fisheries policy > Fishing area

Exclusive economic zone

Concept of Exclusive economic zone

See the dictionary definition of Exclusive economic zone.

Characteristics of Exclusive economic zone

Resources

Translation of Exclusive economic zone

Thesaurus of Exclusive economic zone

Law > International law > Public international law > Law of the sea > Exclusive economic zone
Environment > Environmental policy > Environmental policy > Management of resources > Exploitation of resources > Exploitation of the seas > Exclusive economic zone
Agriculture, Forestry And Fisheries > Fisheries > Fisheries policy > Fishing area > Exclusive economic zone

See also

  • Exclusive national zone
  • Two-hundred-mile zone
  • EEZ

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