Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

An Exclusive Economic Zone or EEZ is a zone in the sea approved by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Over this zone, a nation-state has exclusive special rights for exploring and using the marine resources. This right is also extended to production of energy from wind and water. It extends from the baseline to two hundred nautical miles from the coast of the concerned country. In colloquial practice, the term can also contain the continental shelf. Generally, a state’s exclusive right extends up to 200 nautical miles but there are exceptions to this rule such as whenever exclusive economic zones overlap, i.e., the baselines of the state coasts are under 400 nautical miles apart.

The continental shelf or the territorial sea over 200 nautical miles is not included in this term. In a territorial sea, the state has complete sovereignty or authority over it. But in case of EEZ, a “sovereign right” is conferred to the state’s rights below sea waters. The surface waters are international waters.