The exclusive economic zone
in The law of the sea
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The exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a zone extending 200 nautical miles seawards from the baseline. Within it, a coastal State has the right to exploit and manage the natural resources of the zone (including fish and renewable energy) and the jurisdiction to regulate, to varying degrees, the construction of installations, the conduct of scientific research and the discharge of pollutants. Other States have the right for their ships and aircraft to traverse the EEZ and its airspace, and to lay cable and pipelines. After explaining the genesis of the EEZ and how the zone is delineated, the chapter provides a detailed analysis of the respective rights of coastal States and other States in the EEZ, including the question of whether they may engage in military activities there. It also explores the mechanisms for regulating possible conflicts between the exercise of their respective rights by coastal and other States, as well as conflicts over activities that do not fall within the group of enumerated rights of either category of State. A coastal State has a choice as to whether to claim an EEZ. The final part of the chapter examines the extent to which States have exercised that option, and suggests possible reasons why a small number of coastal States have chosen not to establish an EEZ.

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