6. Sovereignty and Security Claims over the Exclusive Economic Zone

James Kraska

in Maritime Power and the Law of the Sea

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199773381
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895298 | DOI:
6. Sovereignty and Security Claims over the Exclusive Economic Zone

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This chapter focuses on sovereignty and security claims over the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). It is sometimes difficult to evaluate which type of excessive EEZ claim is most injurious and destabilizing to the law of the sea: claims of sovereignty over the EEZ, or so-called excessive territorial sea claims extending beyond 12 nm, or excessive regulatory claims within a legitimately drawn 200 nm EEZ. While the first type is a clear-cut case of overreaching by the coastal state, the last example based on an assertion of excessive coastal state competence in the zone, is more pernicious and duplicitous. Regardless of which strategy is employed by the coastal state to appropriate water space, the 200-nm zone has acquired the status of a “psycho-legal” boundary that is used arbitrarily by coastal states in order to attach ad hoc excessive claims to an actual or recognizable regime. In effect, most excessive EEZ claims attempt to move the goal posts of the territorial sea farther from the land. Unlawful claims for coastal state sovereignty or assertions of “sovereignty-like” competence beyond 12 nm in the ocean, however characterized, may be thought of as excessive EEZ claims. For the coastal states, such claims often are a shorthand reference for national assurance and filling a sense of vulnerability over underlying security or resource claims.

Keywords: exclusive economic zone; sovereignty; security; territorial sea claims; water space

Chapter.  17047 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public International Law

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