Who owns the oceans?

We all own the oceans … no, wait! No one owns the oceans. Sometimes it is very confusing to answer this question.

Since the third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea the jurisdictions of the oceans are known as this:

  • 0-3 nautical miles from the coastline of the country is considered a countries’ territorial seas and are subject to the rules of the country. Invading these waters can be seen as attack.
  • In the United States 0-12 nautical miles is subject to individual state laws.
  • Adjacent to the 12 nautical miles and out to 200 nautical miles is the Exclusive Economic Zone which gives states and/or a countries the “right to explore and exploit, and the responsibility to conserve and manage, the living and non-living resources.”

For more information click here.

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