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Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

2021 APR 9

Preliminary   > International Relations   >   Miscellaneous   >   India-USA

Why in news?

  • The US Navy conducted a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in the Indian Ocean region when its warship ventured into India's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near Lakshadweep Islands without the latter's permission.
  • Freedom of Navigation Operations involves passages conducted by the US Navy through waters claimed by coastal nations as their exclusive territory.

About EEZ:

  • An exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is an area of the sea in which a sovereign state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind.
  • It stretches from the baseline out to 200 nautical miles (nmi) from the coast of the state in question.
  • The exception to this rule occurs when exclusive economic zones would overlap and when an overlap occurs, it is up to the states to delineate the actual maritime boundary.
  • It is also referred to as a maritime continental margin and, in colloquial usage, may include the continental shelf.
  • The term does not include either the territorial sea or the continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical mile 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.
  • France possesses the largest EEZ in the world, covering 11.7 million  km2.

Prelims Question

Consider the following regarding Exclusive economic Zone (EEZ):
1.It is defined by UNCLOS norms.
2.USA has the largest EEZ in the world.
Choose the correct statements from the codes given below:
(a)1 only
(b)2 only
(c)Both 1 and 2
(d)Neither 1 nor 2

Answer to the Prelims Question