Exclusive Economic Zone -Definition and Explanation

Exclusive Economic Zone – Definition

Exclusive Economic Zone -Definition
EEZ explanation

Exclusive Economic Zone – Definition

  • Exclusive Economic Zone – Definition:- It is an area that is adjacent to and beyond the territorial sea.
  • It can extend to a maximum of 200 nautical miles from the baseline. The baseline is normally measured as the low-water line along the coast as indicated on large-scale charts officially approved by the coastal state.
  • The EEZ does not include the territorial sea and also does not include the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. 
  • The EEZ includes the contiguous zone.
  • Within the EEZ, the country has rights over natural resources. The country has jurisdiction over some activities for the reasons of environmental protection.
  • It also has to respect the rights of other countries in the EEZ such as the freedom of navigation.
  • The difference between the territorial sea and the EEZ is that the former confers full sovereignty over the waters, whereas the latter is merely a “sovereign right” which refers to the coastal nation’s rights below the surface of the sea. The surface waters are international waters.
Exclusive Economic Zone- Definition
India’s EEZ map

Q What are the Rights of a  country in the EEZ ?

  1. Explore and exploit, conserve and manage the natural resources (living or non-living).
  2. Produce energy from wind, currents and water.
  3. Establish and use artificial islands, structures and installations.
  4. Conduct marine scientific research.
  5. Protect and preserve the marine environment.

Territorial Waters

Territorial Sea

  • It is a sovereign territory of the state. 
  • However, foreign ships, both civilian and military, are permitted ‘innocent passage’ through it. 
  • The sovereignty also includes the seabed below and the airspace above. 
  • The EEZ starts at the edge of the territorial sea.

Contiguous Zone

  • It is a part of the EEZ. In this zone, states have limited control in order to curb or penalise the infringement of its customs, immigration, sanitary, or fiscal laws within its territorial sea. 
  • Only in four areas, it can enforce laws: taxation, customs, pollution and immigration.

India and the Exclusive Economic Zone

  1. Mapping of India’s EEZ with the multibeam swath bathymetry technologies.
  2. To undertake systematic sediment sampling and analysis to assess the potential of seabed resources within the EEZ
  3. To improve the understanding of the seabed morphology and take a step ahead in knowledge enhancement of the existing scientific issues such as the paleoclimatic regime of the Indian peninsula.
  4. To create a state-of-the-art marine geoscientific database that facilitates its archival and retrieval for dissemination to the scientific community against approved projects of the MoES.
Indian extent for EEZ

Questions related to the Exclusive Economic Zone

How much is the exclusive economic zone of India?
Which country has the largest exclusive economic zone?
What happens when EEZ overlap?
Is fishing allowed in EEZ?

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