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Exclusive economic zone

In international maritime law, an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a seazone extending from a state's coast over which the state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources. Generally a state's EEZ extends 200 nautical miles (370.4 kilometers) out from its coast, except where resulting points would be closer to another country.

This concept of allotting nations EEZs to give better control of maritime affairs outside territorial limits gained acceptance in the late 20th century and was given binding international recognition by the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Part V, Article 55 states:

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.

Fisheries management is a significant aspect of the resulting control.

Disputes over the exact extent of exclusive economic zones are a common source of conflict between states over marine waters.

By country

United States

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