Territorial Waters

(redirected from Coastal waters)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

Territorial Waters

The part of the ocean adjacent to the coast of a state that is considered to be part of the territory of that state and subject to its sovereignty.

In International Law the term territorial waters refers to that part of the ocean immediately adjacent to the shores of a state and subject to its territorial jurisdiction. The state possesses both the jurisdictional right to regulate, police, and adjudicate the territorial waters and the proprietary right to control and exploit natural resources in those waters and exclude others from them. Territorial waters differ from the high seas, which are common to all nations and are governed by the principle of freedom of the seas. The high seas are not subject to appropriation by persons or states but are available to everyone for navigation, exploitation of resources, and other lawful uses. The legal status of territorial waters also extends to the seabed and subsoil under them and to the airspace above them.

From the eighteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, international law set the width of territorial waters at one league (three nautical miles), although the practice was never wholly uniform. The United States established a three-mile territorial limit in 1793. International law also established the principle that foreign ships are entitled to innocent passage through territorial waters.

By the 1970s, however, more than forty countries had asserted a twelve-mile limit for their territorial waters. In 1988 President ronald reagan issued Executive Proclamation 5928, which officially increased the outer limit of U.S. territorial waters from three to twelve miles (54 Fed. Reg. 777). This limit also applies to Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The Reagan administration claimed the extension of the limit was primarily motivated by national security concerns, specifically to hinder the operations of spy vessels from the Soviet Union that plied the U.S. coastline. Another reason for the extension was the recognition that most countries had moved to a twelve-mile limit. In 1982, at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, 130 member countries ratified the Convention on the Law of the Sea, which included a recognition of the twelve-mile limit as a provision of customary international law. Although the United States voted against the convention, 104 countries had officially claimed a twelve-mile territorial sea by 1988.

Cross-references

Law of the Sea; Navigable Waters.

References in periodicals archive ?
On October 11, another ship which belonged to the Egyptian army and named al-Mahrousa was destroyed by Yemeni missiles in the coastal waters near al-Mukha coast.
Dr Ali Khuraibet, another environmental expert, said that the chemical substances found in Kuwait's coastal waters were extremely hazardous to marine life and their long-term effects after they were passed down through the food cycle were "extremely serious," the paper reported.
That expired last month, and the Senate should join the House in approving HB 3613 and making state coastal waters off limits to drilling.
This formula allows for a standardized comparison between EPI inside the lagoon and in coastal waters.
18 /PRNewswire/ -- As world ocean experts gather in Long Beach this week to explore ways to protect global coastal waters, the Proposition 84 campaign today announced that the measure will provide unprecedented funding for ocean protection along California's coastal waters, including record levels of funding for the California Ocean Protection Council created by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Deep below the ocean, where technologically advanced systems collide in a final "gambit of death", Second Sunrise escalates to a cataclysmic finale below the coastal waters of the western United States.
THE SPANISH government is likely to lose a European Court of Justice (ECJ) battle with the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers to secure additional fishing rights in coastal waters around the Atlantic frontier between Spain and France.
Sediment and other storm water pollutants, such as oils, pesticides and heavy metals associated with construction, can significantly impair drinking water reservoirs, lakes, rivers and coastal waters.
Scientists warn that dead zones are increasing in the world's coastal waters.
In recent years, CLF has encouraged the state of Maine to implement a comprehensive bay-wide planning and management program ("Bay Management") for its coastal waters.
In an effort to assess the endocrine disruptive potential of the environment around Greater Los Angeles, a study was conducted involving the environmental sampling of 20 male Pleuronichtys verticalis at five trawling sites (n = 4 at each site) in the coastal waters off of Greater Los Angeles, and the use of 3 male Pleuronichtys verticalis as controls acquired from Dana Point, CA and acclimated in the lab.
Which coastal waters would be the best place to spot rare right whales in spring and summer?

Full browser ?