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A land area surrounded by water and remaining above sea level during high tide.

Land areas exposed only during low tide are called low-tide elevations or drying rocks, reefs, or shoals. The existence of islands has generated numerous disputes, centering primarily on the size of the territorial sea surrounding an island and the determination of what state has sovereignty over a particular island. The size of the territorial sea has become an important question affecting fishing rights and the right of unrestricted passage for foreign vessels. Although the territorial sea of an island is usually determined by reference to its coastal baseline, some adjustments have been recognized in the cases of archipelagoes and islands located close to the mainland.

Determination of what state has title to an island has traditionally depended upon an open and continuous assertion of sovereignty over the island, which is usually, but not always, accompanied by physical presence of some representative of the state.


Territorial Waters.

See: isolate

ISLAND. A piece of land surrounded by water.
     2. Islands are in the sea or in rivers. Those in the sea are either in the open sea, or within the boundary of some country.
     3. When new islands arise in the open sea, they belong to the first occupant: but when they are newly formed so near the shore as to be within the boundary of some state, they belong to that state.
     4. Islands which arise in rivets when in the middle of the stream, belong in equal parts to the riparian proprietors when they arise. mostly on one side, they will belong to the riparian owners up to the middle of the stream. Bract. lib. 2, c. 2; Fleta, lib. 3, c. 2, s. 6; 2 Bl. 261; 1 Swift's Dig. 111; Schult. Aq. R. 117; Woolr. on Waters: 38; 4 Pick. R. 268; Dougl. R. 441; 10 Wend. 260; 14 S. & R. 1. For the law of Louisiana, see Civil Code, art. 505, 507.
     5. The doctrine of the common law on this subject, founded on reason, seems to have been borrowed from the civil law. Vide Inst. 2, 1, 22; Dig. 41, 1, 7; Code, 7; 41, 1.

References in periodicals archive ?
Vanessa, who bought the 3000-acre hideaway in 1995 with her Eilean then husband, entrepreneur Robert Devereux, was not convinced by the thought of taking on the empty island.
Enjoy solitude at Eilean Shona House in south West Scotland
Work carried out by volunteers has brought the life on Eilean Ban and its circling waters to our attention in an outdoor experience for both nature lovers and fans of Maxwell's writing.
To the best of our knowledge, it is the Eilean Donan Castle, located on the far northwest highland coast of Scotland.
10 that include stops in Glasgow, the Scottish Highlands, Loch Lomand, Glencoe, Eilean Donan Castle, Wick Loch Ness, Braemar and Edinburgh.
In the north of Scotland, the Wick lifeboat was called out in April 1993 to save the cargo freighter Eilean MoGrhidh after its engines had failed and the tide was sweeping it out to sea.
Comhairle nan eilean siar intends tendering for residential, Respite and nursing care home beds for older people in the western isles area in the near future, To put in place a framework agreement for the period 1.
Tha uiread de dh'aiteannan beaga diomhar san Eilean 's gum faodadh an saoghal uile a dhol air a chall annta.
Personally, I will never forget my first sight of Eilean Donan Castle.
Enigma and revelation in Renaissance English literature; essays presented to Eilean ni Chuilleanain.
It was originally the Eilean Eisdeal but bore the name Vital Spark when she visited the Glasgow River Festival in 2005.
Eilean Ni Chuilleanain is one of Ireland's finest poets.