Authored by Priyesh Mishra | navbharattimes.com | Updated: Oct 19, 2021, 8:59 PM
In 1982, the United Nations made an international law regarding the Exclusive Economic Zone. This law is known as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982. It is an international treaty that provides a legal framework for the use of the world’s seas and oceans.
The Pakistani Navy has claimed that it has detected the entry of an Indian submarine into its Exclusive Economic Zone. Pakistan has also claimed that it detected the Indian submarine and drove it out of its waters. A few months ago, a US Navy warship also entered India’s EEZ near Lakshadweep. In such a situation, the question is arising that what is an economic exclusive zone and what are the international rules regarding it?
United Nations has made law regarding EEZ
In 1982, the United Nations made an international law regarding the Exclusive Economic Zone. This law is known as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982. It is an international treaty that provides a legal framework for the use of the world’s seas and oceans. Through this law, the protection of marine resources, equitable use and marine environment is also ensured.
India had accepted the treaty in 1995, America is still not a member
At present this law of the sea has got international recognition. On this basis, any country has to take some precautions before going into each other’s EEZ. This law was first introduced for recognition in December 1982. After which this treaty came into force in the year 1994 according to its Article 308. This law has been recognized by 168 countries of the world. India acceded to the treaty in 1995, while the US, which claims to be the world’s largest leader of free shipping, has not yet recognized it.
Special laws of the respective country are applicable in EEZ
According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), an Economic Exclusive Zone is a maritime zone separate from the land boundary. Special law will be applicable in this area. In this, the coastal country will get the right to enforce the law. This range usually extends from 3 to 12 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles. There are 1.852 kilometers in a nautical mile. In this case, 200 nautical miles means a distance of 370.4 kilometers. In this area, the country concerned has got the right to do economic exploitation by fishing, oil-gas extraction or other means.
EEZ is separated from the territorial maritime boundary
The territory of the EEZ is separated from the territorial sea of any country. It is so in the case of India as well. The territorial maritime boundary of India is located up to a distance of 12 miles from the coast. After this, India will have an Economic Exclusive Zone for the next 200 km. All foreign ships, submarines have the right to enter through the territorial waters on the basis of the Innocent Passage. Innocent passage does not mean that warship, submarine or merchant vessel is not a threat to that country.