• World
  • Nov 18

What is Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)?

• Australia’s government expressed serious concerns to China after an interaction between an Australian navy vessel and Chinese warship left Australian military divers injured.

• Defence Minister Richard Marles said the HMAS Toowoomba — a long-range frigate — was conducting a diving operation in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on November 14 to clear fishing nets from its propellers when the incident occurred.

• While diving operations were underway a PLA-N destroyer (DDG-139) operating in the vicinity closed towards HMAS Toowoomba.

• Despite the Australian vessel notifying the Chinese warship of the diving operation and requesting that it keep clear, the destroyer approached at a closer range. Medical assessments found minor injuries to the divers likely caused by the destroyer’s sonar, said the defence minister.

What is Exclusive Economic Zone?

• An Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is a concept adopted at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1982), whereby a coastal state assumes jurisdiction over the exploration and exploitation of marine resources in its adjacent section of the continental shelf, taken to be a band extending 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the shore.

• The coastal State has sovereign rights for the purposes of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing natural living or non-living resources of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil.

• It also has rights with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds.

• In the EEZ, the coastal State has jurisdiction with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures, marine scientific research and protection and preservation of the marine environment.

• India, with a coastline of 7,500 km, has an EEZ of about 2.37 million sq km wherein the country enjoys the exclusive legal right to utilise all living and non-living resources. The Andaman Islands account for 30 per cent of India’s EEZ.

• While territorial sea is a state subject, the EEZ is governed by the central government.

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