An exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a sea zone prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a sovereign state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind. nautical miles (nmi) from the coast of the state in question. In colloquial usage, the term may include the continental shelf. The term does not include either the territorial sea or the continental shelf beyond the 200 nmi limit. The difference between the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone is that the first confers full sovereignty over the waters, whereas the second is merely a "sovereign right" which refers to the coastal state's rights below the surface of the sea. The surface waters, as can be seen in the map, are international waters.It stretches from the baseline out to 200
Generally, a state's exclusive economic zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea, extending seaward to a distance of no more than 200 nmi (370 km) out from its coastal baseline. The exception to this rule occurs when exclusive economic zones would overlap; that is, state coastal baselines are less than 400 nmi (740 km) apart. When an overlap occurs, it is up to the states to delineate the actual maritime boundary. Generally, any point within an overlapping area defaults to the nearest state.
A state's exclusive economic zone starts at the seaward edge of its territorial sea and extends outward to a distance of 200 nmi (370 km) from the baseline. The exclusive economic zone stretches much further into sea than the territorial waters, which end at 12 nmi (22 km) from the coastal baseline (if following the rules set out in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). Thus, the exclusive economic zones includes the contiguous zone. States also have rights to the seabed of what is called the continental shelf up to 350 nmi (650 km) from the coastal baseline, beyond the exclusive economic zones, but such areas are not part of their exclusive economic zones. The legal definition of the continental shelf does not directly correspond to the geological meaning of the term, as it also includes the continental rise and slope, and the entire seabed within the exclusive economic zone.
The idea of allotting nations EEZs to give them more control of maritime affairs outside territorial limits gained acceptance in the late 20th century.
Initially, a country's sovereign territorial waters extended 3 nmi or 5.6 km (range of cannon shot) beyond the shore. In modern times, a country's sovereign territorial waters extend to 12 nmi (22 km) beyond the shore. One of the first assertions of exclusive jurisdiction beyond the traditional territorial seas was made by the United States in the Truman Proclamation of 28 September 1945. However, it was Chile and Peru respectively that first claimed maritime zones of 200 nautical miles with the Presidential Declaration Concerning Continental Shelf of 23 June 1947 (El Mercurio, Santiago de Chile, 29 June 1947) and Presidential Decree No. 781 of 1 August 1947 (El Peruano: Diario Oficial. Vol. 107, No. 1983, 11 August 1947).
It was not until 1982 with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone was formally adopted.
This section needs to be updated.June 2020)(
The exact extent of exclusive economic zones is a common source of conflicts between states over marine waters.
Regions where a permanent ice shelf extends beyond the coastline are also a source of potential dispute.
Fisheries management, usually adhering to guidelines set by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), provides significant practical mechanisms for the control of EEZs. Transboundary fish stocks are an important concept in this control.Transboundary stocks are fish stocks that range in the EEZs of at least two countries. Straddling stocks, on the other hand, range both within an EEZ as well as in the high seas, outside any EEZ. A stock can be both transboundary and straddling.
Algeria in 17 April 2018 establishes an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off its coasts by Presidential Decree No. 18-96 of 2 Rajab 1439 corresponding to 20 March 2018.The permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations in 27 July 2018 declares his disagreement with the EEZ announced by Algeria and that the Government of Spain hereby indicates its willingness to enter into negotiations with the Government of Algeria with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable agreement on the outer limits of their respective exclusive economic zones , The same was done by the Italian mission in 28 November 2018. The two countries indicated that the Algerian measure had been taken unilaterally and without consulting them.
25 November 2018 The Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent an oral note in response to the Spanish protest, explains that the Algerian Government does not recognize the largely exorbitant coordinates contained in Royal Decree 236/2013, which overlap with the coordinates of Presidential Decree n° 18–96 establishing an exclusive economic zone off the coast of Algeria. The Algerian Government wishes to emphasize that the unilateral delimitation carried out by Spain is not in conformity with the letter of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and has not taken into consideration the configuration, the specific characteristics and the special circumstances of the Mediterranean Sea, in particular for the case of the two countries whose coasts are located face to face, as well as the objective rules and relevant principles of international law to govern the equitable delimitation of the maritime areas between Algeria and Spain, in accordance with article 74 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Algeria expressed its willingness to negotiate for a just solution
20 June 2019 a communication from Algeria addressed to the Italian embassyand the Spain embassy in Algiers to show their eligibility in her exclusive economic zone.
Considering the maritime areas claimed, the total area of Argentina reaches 3,849,756 km2. The recognized Argentine EEZ area is 1,159,063 km2.
Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone was declared on 1 August 1994, and extends from 12 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coastline of Australia and its external territories, except where a maritime delimitation agreement exists with another state.To the 12 nautical miles boundary is Australia's territorial waters. Australia has the third largest exclusive economic zone, behind France and the United States, but ahead of Russia, with the total area of 8,148,250 square kilometres, which actually exceeds its land territory.
The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) confirmed, in April 2008, Australia's rights over an additional 2.5 million square kilometres of seabed beyond the limits of Australia's EEZ. Australia also claimed, in its submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, additional Continental Shelf past its EEZ from the Australian Antarctic Territory , but these claims were deferred on Australia's request. However, Australia's EEZ from its Antarctic Territory is approximately 2 million square kilometres.
|Region||EEZ Area (km2)|
|Mainland Australia, Tasmania, and other minor islands||6,048,681|
|Heard Island and McDonald Islands||410,722|
|Australian Antarctic Territory||2,000,000|
Brazil's EEZ includes areas around the Fernando de Noronha Islands, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, and the Trindade and Martim Vaz Islands. It is called the Blue Amazon.
|Region||EEZ Area (km2)|
In 2004, Brazil submitted its claims to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to extend its maritime continental margin.
Canada is unusual in that its exclusive economic zone, covering 5,599,077 km2 (2,161,816 sq mi), is slightly smaller than its territorial waters. The latter generally extend only 12 nautical miles from the shore, but also include inland marine waters such as Hudson Bay (about 300 nautical miles (560 km; 350 mi) across), the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the internal waters of the Arctic Archipelago.
Chile's EEZ includes areas around the Desventuradas Islands, Easter Island, and the Juan Fernández Islands.
|Region||EEZ Area (km2)||Land Area (km2)||Total|
|Juan Fernández Islands||502,524||100||502,624|
The first figure excludes all disputed waters, while the last figure indicates China's claimed boundaries, and does not take into account neighboring powers' claims.
Area: 59,032 km2
The Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus covers more than 70,000 km2 and is divided between 13 exploration blocks. The process of the establishment of Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon Exclusive Economic Zones was held in Nicosia in 2010 with separate meetings between each country. Cyprus and Israel as part of their wider cooperation have agreed to start their gas explorations with a common American company, specifically Noble Energy. Cypriot and Israeli governments are discussing to export their natural gas through the shipping of compressed Natural Gas to Greece and then to the rest of Europe or through a subsea Pipelines starting from Israel and then leading to Greece via Cyprus.
The Kingdom of Denmark includes the constituent country (selvstyre) of Greenland and the constituent country (hjemmestyre) of the Faroe Islands.
|Region||EEZ & TW Area (km2)||Land area||Total|
|105 989||42 506||149 083|
|260 995||1 399||262 394|
Area: 1,077,231 km2
Due to its numerous overseas departments and territories scattered on all oceans of the planet, France possesses the largest EEZ in the world, covering 11.7 million km2. The EEZ of France covers approximately 8% of the total surface of all the EEZs of the world, whereas the land area of the French Republic is only 0.45% of the total land area of Earth.
Greece has claimed an EEZ of 505,572 km2 (195,202 sq mi) as per UNCLOS 1982 as well as customary international law. Turkey doesn't recognize a legal continental shelf and EEZ around the Greek islands. As of 2020, Greece has signed EEZ agreements with Italy and Egypt.
|Mainland India and Lakshadweep||1,641,514 km2|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||663,629 km2|
India is currently seeking to extend its EEZ to 350 miles.
Indonesia has the 6th largest exclusive economic zone in the world. The total size is 6,159,032 km2 (2,378,016 sq mi). It claims an EEZ of 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its shores. This is due to the 13,466 islands of the Indonesian Archipelago. It has the 2nd largest coastline of 54,720 km (34,000 mi). The five main islands are: Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Western New Guinea. There are two major island groups (Nusa Tenggara and the Maluku Islands) and sixty smaller island groups.
In 2010, an agreement was signed with Cyprus concerning the limit of territorial waters between Israel and Cyprus at the maritime halfway point, a clarification essential for safeguarding Israel's rights to oil and underwater gas reservoirs. The agreement was signed in Nicosia by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau and the Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou. The two countries agreed to cooperate in the development of any cross border resources discovered, and to negotiate an agreement on dividing joint resources.
Japan has the 8th largest exclusive economic zone of 4,479,674 km2 (1,729,612 sq mi). It claims an EEZ of 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its shores.
|Region||EEZ Area (km2)||EEZ Area (sq mi)|
|Pacific Ocean (Japan)||1,162,334||448,780|
|Sea of Japan||630,721||243,523|
|Sea of Okhotsk||235||91|
Japan has disputes over its EEZ boundaries with all its Asian neighbors (China, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan). The above, and relevant maps at the Sea Around Us Projectboth indicate Japan's claimed boundaries, and do not take into account neighboring powers' claims.
Japan also refers to various categories of "shipping area" – Smooth Water Area, Coasting Area, Major or Greater Coasting Area, Ocean Going Area – but it is unclear whether these are intended to have any territorial or economic implications.
Mexico's exclusive economic zones comprise a total surface area of 3,144,295 km2, and places Mexico among the countries with the largest areas in the world. This puts Mexico's total territory as 5,153,735 km2.
New Zealand's EEZ covers 4,083,744 km2 (1,576,742 sq mi), which is approximately fifteen times the land area of the country. Sources vary significantly on the size of New Zealand's EEZ; for example, a recent government publication gave the area as roughly 4,300,000 km2. These figures are for the EEZ of New Zealand proper, and do not include the EEZs of other territories in the Realm of New Zealand (the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and the Ross Dependency ).
The exclusive economic zone of North Korea stretches 200 nautical miles from its basepoints in both the West Sea (Yellow Sea) and the Sea of Japan.The EEZ was declared in 1977 after North Korea had contested the validity of the Northern Limit Lines (NLL) set up after the Korean War as maritime borders. The EEZ has not been codified in law and North Korea has never specified its coordinates, making it difficult to determine its specific scope.
In the West Sea, the EEZ remains unspecified in the Korea Bay because China has not determined its own EEZ in the area.The border between the North Korean and South Korean EEZs in the West Sea cannot be determined because of potential overlap and disputes over certain islands.
In the Sea of Japan, the North Korean EEZ can be approximated to be trapezoidal-shaped.The border between North Korea and Russia's respective EEZs is the only such border that has been determined in East Asia. Here, the EEZ does not cause many problems, even with regards to South Korea, because the sea is not thought to be rich in resources.
Norway has a large exclusive economic zone of 819,620 km2 around its coast. The country has a fishing zone of 1,878,953 km2, including fishing zones around Svalbard and Jan Mayen.
In April 2009, the United Nations Commission for the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved Norway's claim to an additional 235,000 square kilometres of continental shelf. The commission found that Norway and Russia both had valid claims over a portion of shelf in the Barents Sea.
|Region||EEZ and Territorial|
Waters Area (km2)
|Land Area (km2)||Total (km2)|
Area: 906,454 km2
The Philippines' EEZ covers 2,263,816 km2 (874,064 sq mi).
The Polish EEZ covers the area of 30,533 km2 (11,789 sq mi) within the Baltic Sea.
Portugal has the 20th largest EEZ in the world. Presently, it is divided in three non-contiguous sub-zones:
Portugal submitted a claim to extend its jurisdiction over additional 2.15 million square kilometers of the neighboring continental shelf in May 2009, resulting in an area with a total of more than 3,877,408 km2. The submission, as well as a detailed map, can be found in the Task Group for the extension of the Continental Shelf website.
Spain disputes the EEZ's southern border, maintaining that it should be drawn halfway between Madeira and the Canary Islands. But Portugal exercises sovereignty over the Savage Islands, a small archipelago north of the Canaries, claiming an EEZ border further south. Spain objects, arguing that the Savage Islands do not have a separate continental shelf,citing article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Area: 23,627 km2
Area: 158,861 km2
Area: 825,052 km2
South Africa's EEZ includes both that next to the African mainland and that around the Prince Edward Islands, totalling 1,535,538 km2.
Area: 300,851 (225,214) km2
Area: 1,039,233 km2
The United Kingdom has the fifth largest exclusive economic zone of 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi) square km. It comprises the EEZs surrounding the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories. The figure does not include the EEZ of the British Antarctic Territory .
The EEZ associated with the Falkland Islands and South Georgia are disputed by Argentina. The EEZ of the Chagos Archipelago, also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory, is also disputed with Mauritius which considers the archipelago as a part of its territory.
|Territory||EEZ Area (km2)||EEZ Area (sq mi)||Notes|
|1,449,532||559,667|| Disputed with |
|773,676||298,718||Including the |
|638,568||246,552|| Disputed with |
|550,872||212,693|| Disputed with |
|426||164|| Disputed with |
|0||0||No EEZ area. The relevant EEZ areas around Cyprus Island are claimed by the |
† A part of the overseas territory of
The United States' exclusive economic zone is the second largest in the world, covering 11,351,000 km2. Areas of its EEZ are located in three oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.
|Territory||EEZ Area (km2)||EEZ Area (sq mi)||Notes|
|3,770,021||1,455,613||A non-contiguous state in the northwest extremity of the North American continent.|
|915,763||353,578||The mainland coastal states of the Eastern United States.|
|895,346||345,695||These islands form the Windward Islands of the Hawaiian island chain.|
|825,549||318,746||The mainland coastal states of the Western United States.|
|749,268||289,294||An organized unincorporated Commonwealth of the United States.|
|707,832||273,295||The mainland coastal states of the Southern United States.|
|442,635||170,902||A National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.|
|407,241||157,237||A National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.|
|404,391||156,136||The only inhabited unorganized unincorporated territory of the United States.|
|352,300||136,000||Both territories are National Wildlife Refuges in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.|
|316,665||122,265||A National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.|
|221,504||85,523||An organized unincorporated territory of the United States.|
|177,685||68,605||An organized unincorporated Commonwealth of the United States.|
|33,744||13,029||An organized unincorporated territory of the United States.|
|N/A||N/A||A National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.|
Vietnam claims an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 1,395,096 km2 (538,650 sq mi) with 200 nautical miles (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) from its shores.
Excluding all disputed waters, Vietnam has an undisputed exclusive economic zone of 417,663 km2 (161,261 sq mi).[ citation needed ] This figure does not include the claimed EEZ areas of the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands. Vietnam has disputes mainly with the People's Republic of China due to the nine-dash line.
This list includes dependent territories (including uninhabited territories) within their sovereign states, but does not include various claims on Antarctica. EEZ+TIA is exclusive economic zone (EEZ) plus total internal area (TIA) which includes territorial land and internal waters.
|Rank||Country||EEZ km2||Shelf km2||EEZ+TIA km2|
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia . The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory . The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement . Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states . In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.|
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is an international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, which took place between 1973 and 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced the quad-treaty 1958 Convention on the High Seas. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th nation to ratify the treaty. As of June 2016, 167 countries and the European Union have joined in the Convention. It is uncertain as to what extent the Convention codifies customary international law.
The term territorial waters is sometimes used informally to refer to any area of water over which a state has jurisdiction, including internal waters, the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and potentially the continental shelf. In a narrower sense, the term is used as a synonym for the territorial sea.
The Aegean dispute is a set of interrelated controversies between Greece and Turkey over sovereignty and related rights in the region of the Aegean Sea. This set of conflicts has strongly affected Greek-Turkish relations since the 1970s, and has twice led to crises coming close to the outbreak of military hostilities, in 1987 and in early 1996. The issues in the Aegean fall into several categories:
The Argentine Sea is the name given to the sea within the continental shelf off the Argentine mainland. It lacks international recognition but is symbolically important to Argentina for consolidating the country's national unity behind the concept of Argentine irridentism, an area that extends out to include the British South Atlantic islands and a section of the Antarctic continent.
The Arctic consists of land, internal waters, territorial seas, exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and international waters above the Arctic Circle. All land, internal waters, territorial seas and EEZs in the Arctic are under the jurisdiction of one of the eight Arctic coastal states: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. International law regulates this area as with other portions of Earth.
Portugal has the 5th largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) within Europe, 3rd largest of the EU and the 20th largest EEZ in the world, at 1,727,408 km2.
The Republic of Cyprus (Cyprus) and Turkey have been engaged in a dispute over the extent of their exclusive economic zones, ostensibly sparked by oil and gas exploration in the area. Turkey objects to Cypriot drilling in waters that Cyprus has asserted a claim to under international maritime law. The present maritime zones dispute touches on the perennial Cyprus and Aegean disputes; Turkey is the only member state of the United Nations that does not recognise Cyprus, and is one of the few not signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Cyprus has signed and ratified.
There are disputes between China, Japan, and South Korea over the extent of their respective exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the East China Sea.
Several states have claimed interests over the sea bed adjoining Rockall. Denmark, Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom have all made submissions to the commission set up under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Japan has the eighth largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the world. The total area of Japan is about 377,975.24 km2. Japan's EEZ area is vast and the territorial waters and EEZ together is about 4.48 million km2.
Australia's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) was declared on 1 August 1994 and extends from 12 to 200 nautical miles from the coastline of Australia and its external territories, except where a maritime delimitation agreement exists with another state. To the 12 nautical-mile boundary is Australia's territorial waters. Australia has the third-largest exclusive economic zone, behind the United States and France but ahead of Russia, with the total area of 8,148,250 square kilometres (3,146,060 sq mi), which exceeds its land territory.
The Philippines has an exclusive economic zone that covers 2,263,816 km2 (874,064 sq mi). It claims an EEZ of 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its shores. This is due to the 7,641 islands comprising the Philippine Archipelago. The total land area, including inland bodies of water, of the Philippines is 300,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi). It has the fifth longest coastline in the world with 36,289 kilometers (22,549 mi). The coordinates are between 116° 40', and 126° 34' E longitude and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N latitude. It is bordered by the Philippine Sea to the east and north, the South China Sea to the west, and the Celebes Sea to the south.
Vietnam claims an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 1,395,096 km2 (538,650 sq mi) with 200 nautical miles from its shores.
Malaysia claims an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 334,671 km2 (129,217 sq mi) with 200 nautical miles from its shores. The EEZ includes much of the southern area of the South China Sea. Malaysia has the 29th longest coastline of 4,675 km (2,905 mi). The coastline comprises two distinct parts of Malaysia. The Peninsular Malaysia's coastline to the west is 2,068 km (1,285 mi) and East Malaysia's coastline is 2,607 km (1,620 mi). They are separated by the South China Sea. The total land area, including inland bodies of water, of Malaysia is 330,803 km2 (127,724 sq mi). Peninsular Malaysia borders Thailand in the north, while East Malaysia borders Brunei and Indonesia on the island of Borneo.
The United Kingdom's exclusive economic zone is the fifth largest in the world at 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi). It comprises the exclusive economic zones surrounding the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories. The figure does not include the EEZ of the British Antarctic Territory.
India has the 18th-largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with a total size of 2,305,143 km2 (890,021 sq mi). It includes the Lakshadweep island group in the Laccadive Sea off the southwestern coast of India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. India's EEZ is bordered to the west by Pakistan, to the south by the Maldives and Sri Lanka and to the east by Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Canada's EEZ is the 7th largest in the world. It is unusual in that its exclusive economic zone, covering 5,599,077 km2 (2,161,816 sq mi), is slightly smaller than its territorial waters. The latter generally extend only 12 nautical miles from the shore, but also include inland marine waters such as Hudson Bay, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the internal waters of the Arctic archipelago.
Spain's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is the 30th largest in the world with 1,039,233 km2 (401,250 sq mi). It is mostly in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. This is approximately double the entire Spanish land area. Together the land and sea surface would account for approximately 0.3% of the world's land surface.
Greece has claimed an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as per UNCLOS 1982 as well as customary international law. The total size is 505,572 km2 (195,202 sq mi) which is the 53rd largest in the world.
Russia has the 4th largest exclusive economic zone of 7,566,673 km2 (2,921,509 sq mi) with 200 nautical miles from its shores.
EEZ waters of: Mainland Brazil 2,570,917 km2, Fernando de Noronha Islands 363,362 km2, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago 413,636 km2, and the Trindade and Martim Vaz Islands 468,599 km2
EEZ waters of: Mainland Chile 1,975,760 km2, the Desventuradas Islands 449,836 km2, Easter Island 720,412 km2, the Juan Fernández, Felix and Ambrosio Islands 502,524 km2
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