The Exclusive Economic Zone

by Charles Quince

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This work is not just a tutorial on the Exclusive Economic Zone, but a kind of forecast on how and what direction the issues surrounding the EEZ is going. It is a welcome addition to a subject that has been lacking in analysis.

Michael Clancey
Dean of Northwestern California University School of Law, USA

Traditionally, the law of the sea was divided into the territorial sea and the high seas which accounted for the application of different rules under different circumstances. Concerning the territorial sea, the coastal state enjoys full sovereignty to the right of innocent passage, while under the high seas rules all countries enjoy multifaceted uses of the sea qualified only by the limitations imposed by international law. The development of the exclusive economic zone ended this traditional dualism and ushered in guidelines that are embodied within the text of the LOS Convention.
The Exclusive Economic Zone presents to academia and the general reading public a comprehensive study of the EEZ concept as it relates to the LOS Convention and state practice. The Exclusive Economic Zone shows that even through coastal states have the right to develop a 200 miles EEZ and that this right is an integral part of contemporary international relations, it is also true that the EEZ concept is shrouded in legal ambiguities. Using qualitative and inductive methods, the scholarship draws on treaties, official proclamations, government archives, and scholarly works that are germane to the development of the EEZ. Students, scholars, and members of the general public with an interest in international law will find that The Exclusive Economic Zone deepens their understanding of the evolution of the EEZ concept.

Chapter One Introduction
I. The Concept of Freedom of the Seas and Access to Living Resources of the Sea’s Water Column
II. The Exclusive Fishing Rights of Coastal States
The Territorial Sea
Post-1930 Claims to High Seas Resources
UNCLOS I (1958), UNCLOS II, and Exclusive Fishing Rights
Post-Geneva and the Geographical Scope of Coastal States’ Exclusive Fishing Rights

Chapter Two The Coastal State and the EEZ
The Coastal State’s Rights over the EEZ’s Economic Activities
The Content of the Coastal State’s Jurisdiction on the Living Resources of the EEZ
The Coastal States’ Authority and the Allocation of EEZ Fisheries
The Authority to Determine the Allowable Catch
The Authority to Determine Harvesting Capacity
The Authority to Determine the Surplus Catch and to Allow Access to Third States
The Coastal State’s Powers, the Prescription of Laws, and Fishing Regulations in the EEZ
The Coastal State’s Authority and the Enforcement of Conservation and Management Measures
Provisions for Specific Species
The Regime for Resources Located in Multiple Zones
Resources Straddling the High Seas and the EEZ
Regulation of Highly Migratory Species
Conservation and Protection of Marine Mammals
Conservation of Anadromous Species
The Management of Catadromous Species
Sedentary Species and Nonliving Resources of the EEZ
Sedentary Species
The Nonliving Resources of the EEZ
The Coastal State’s Rights over other Economic Resources of the EEZ
Coastal States’ Noneconomic Rights in the EEZ
Coastal States’ Jurisdiction over Artificial Islands, Installations, and Structures
Coastal States’ Rights regarding Marine Research in the EEZ
Coastal States’ Rights regarding the Protection and Preservation of the EEZ’s Marine Environment
Dumping in the EEZ
Pollution from Seabed Activities
Pollution from Vessels

Chapter Three Third States and the Exclusive Economic Zone
The Rights of Third States and the Noneconomic Uses of the EEZ
Freedom of Navigation
Freedom of Overflight
Freedom of Laying Submarine Cables and Pipelines
Other International Uses of the Sea: Navigation, Overflight, and the Laying of Cables and Pipelines
Unattributed (Residual) Rights
The Right of Third States’ Access to the Living Resources of the EEZ
Third States’ Access to the Surplus Resources of the EEZ
LLS and GDS Access to the Living Resources of Another State’s EEZ
Land-Locked States
Geographically Disadvantaged States
Sharing the Living Resources of EEZs

Chapter Four State Practice and the Exclusive Economic Zone
The Territorial Sea
The Exclusive Fishery Zone
The Evolution of EEZ Claims
Conceptual Framework of EEZ Claims
The Legal Status of the EEZ
Delimitation of the EEZ between Adjacent and Opposite States
The Basic Rights and Jurisdiction of Coastal States in the EEZ
The Rights of Coastal States Under Article 56 Paragraph 1(a)
The Rights of Coastal States Under Article 56(1)(b)
The Fundamental Rights of States in Foreign EEZs
The EEZ Fisheries System in Coastal States Practice
The Conservation and Management Responsibilities of Coastal States
Optimum Use and Foreign Access
Criteria of Access
Reference to the Provisions of Articles 69 and 70 and LLS and GDS
State Fishing Activities and the Evolution of the EEZ
The Cooperative Efforts of States during the Research and Identification of Stocks
The Criterion of Developing States in the Subregion or Region in Harvesting Surplus
Conditions Governing Access
Licensing and Payment of Fees
Conservation and Management Measures
Reporting Requirements and Observers
Joint Ventures
Cooperative Assistance in Fishery Research and Development
Other Conditions
Surveillance and Enforcement
Resources Located in More than One Zone
Resources Occurring in the EEZ and the High Seas
Marine Mammals
Anadromous Species
Catadromous Species
Highly Migratory Species
Regime Relating Marine Research, Artificial Islands, Installations, and Protection of the Marine Environment
State Practice and the Conduct of Marine Scientific Research (MSR) in the EEZ
Artificial Islands, Installations, and Structures in State Practice
The EEZ, State Practice, and the Preservation and Protection of the Marine Environment

Chapter Five The Development of Customary International Law and the Two-Hundred-Mile EEZ
Widespread and Consistent State Practice
Repetition of the Practice over a Considerable Time Period
Opinio Juris
Rejection and Acceptance
The Scope of the EEZ Concept in Customary International Law
National Practice
Recent Jurisprudence of the ICJ
The Exclusive Economic Zone
The High Seas
Submarine Cables
The Regime of Islands
Landlocked and Geographically Disadvantaged States
Marine Pollution
Marine Scientific Research




Table of Cases

Countries with the Largest and Smallest Exclusive Economic Zones

Charles Quince began his undergraduate studies at William Carey College. With over thirty years of experience as a librarian, Quince has earned a Master of Science in Library Science from the Clarion University of Pennsylvania, followed by a Master of Arts in History from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont and a Juris Doctor from Northwestern California University School of Law. He specializes in developing research tools and strengthening the research abilities of students and the general public. Quince is a member of the American Historical Association, the American Society of International Law, and the Pennsylvania Library Association.

Law of the Sea, Maritime Law, Admiralty Law, International Relations, International Fisheries Law, Public International Law, International Trade Law, International Maritime Conventions

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

The Exclusive Economic Zone





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm

Publication date

February 2019