The concept of the Economic Exclusive Zone

AuthorDorina Patuzi
PositionEuropean University of Tirana
Pages149-159
ISSN 2410-3918 Academic Journal of Business, Administration, Law and Social Sciences Vol 1 No 1
Acces online at www.iipccl.org IIPCCL Publishing, Tirana-Albania March 2015
149
e concept of the Economic Exclusive Zone
(PhD Cand.) Dorina Patuzi
European University of Tirana
Abstract
e important and the new concept that brought the third UN Conference of the Law of the Sea
was the Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ), requested by countries whose coasts are bordering on the
oceans, seas, but also in harmony with the interests of countries which have extensive coastline or
those with specic geographical features, which have a very narrow coastal zone.
On December 10, 1982, nearly 120 countries signed the new United Nations Convention on the
Law of the Sea, as one of the most signicant international conferences. Part V of that Convention
(more precisely Articles 55 to 75) provides for an “Exclusive Economic Zone” extending 200
nautical miles seaward from the coast. If all coastal states thus exercised their jurisdiction over
their own EEZ, some 38 million square nautical miles would become their “economic patrimony”.
It should be mentioned that the ocean represents 71% of the total surface of the earth and that
32% of that falls under the jurisdiction of coastal states. Consequently inside these economic zones
would lie 90% of global shing, 87% of oil deposits and 10 % of polymetallic nodules.
e EEZ provisions have received widespread support and have become an integral part of
international practice especially when the Convention of 1982 entered into force, also articles 55
and 86 of the Convention make it clear that the EEZ is not a part of the territorial sea, but it is a
zone sui generis, with a statute of its own. Some countries had claimed 200-mile EEZ and other
have established a 200- mile Exclusive Fishing Zone (EFZ). e countries beneting the most from
the EEZ concept are in order of the size of their zones: USA, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand,
Canada and Russia. If this concept was to be applied by all coastal Mediterranean States, the entire
sea would be covered by EEZs of the littoral countries. e countries of the Mediterranean that
would most benet from the EEZ are Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Malta. e 1982 Convention
drastically changed the maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by 22 States
which have codied their coastal zones and ratied the Convention which entered into force on
November 16, 1994.
Keywords: Exclusive Economic Zone, Coastal State, Territorial Sea, Continental Shelf, Contiguous
zone, International Convention.
Introduction
e principle of freedom of the seas is recognized in the seventeenth century as one of
the oldest principles of international law. is concept of freedom was ideally suited to
the requirements of commerce and economic progress and was the sea-going equivalent
of the liberal principles of free trade and free enterprise. In December 1982 the Montego
Bay Convention (Jamaica) on the Law of the Sea was signed. e Republic of Albania has
approved the Convention of UN on the Law of the Seas with the Albanian Law No. 9055,
on 24.4.2003.
e 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was considered as one of

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