Maritime boundaries are critical elements to the planning of any activity in the ocean realm. From the early 1700ís when the Dutch issued a decree establishing a "territorial sea" which was as wide as "the hypothetical range of an imaginary cannon," nations have sought to control portions of the global ocean which touch their shores. Under evolving criteria being established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), nations continue to re-define their sovereign claims to ocean space.
Many industries and activities recognize the growing importance of maritime claim and boundary delimitation. National claims may overlap, creating areas of disputed ownership and jurisdiction that can lead to confrontation and even open conflict. In the assessment, exploration and recovery of petroleum, mineral, or fishing resources, a distance of a few hundred meters can have significant economic importance. Trespassing a nation's claims could have serious consequences; arrests, fines, ship confiscation, prison, loss of limb or life.
However, the reconstruction of maritime claims and boundaries and their associated jurisdictional aspects is complex, and in many cases, confusing or contradictory. Boundary agreements may take years to develop, often involving third-party mediation. The details and meaning of boundaries may be buried in pages and pages of text.
Until now, graphical portrayal of the claims or agreed boundaries has not been readily available to those involved in marine activities. Third party publishers of claims and boundaries data typically do not include graphics, portray only one boundary per graphic, or limit their graphics to only the agreed boundaries.
More information: http://www.maritimeboundaries.com
The Global Maritime Boundaries Database (GMBD) CD-ROM brings together the claims, limits and boundaries of the world with detailed attribution and documentation so they can be queried and viewed using GIS software. Included in the GMBD are: territorial seas; contiguous, joint development, fishing, and economic zones; potential claim median line solutions, disputed areas, boundary status; and much more.
The data is only aggregated if at least 75 % of the observations are available (i.e. % of population or % of area or % of countries) on an annual basis.
The value "-9999" corresponds to "No Data".
Calculated pre 1991-1992 relative country share
Former Yugoslavia SFR:
No claims or areas for the Caspian Sea have been included for the following countries:
Azerbaijan, Iran, Islamic Rep, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Turkmenistan.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is an international agreement that sets conditions and limits on the use and exploitation of the oceans. This Convention also sets the rules for the maritime jurisdictional boundaries of the different member states.
The UNCLOS was opened for signature on 10 December 1982 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and it entered into force on 16 November 1994. As of January 2000, there are 132 countries that have ratified UNCLOS.
Under UNCLOS, coastal States can claim sovereign rights in a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This allows for sovereign rights over the EEZ in terms of exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of all natural resources in the seabed, its subsoil and overlaying waters. UNCLOS allows other states to navigate and fly over the EEZ, as well as to lay submarine cables and pipelines. The inner limit of the EEZ starts at the outer boundary of the Territorial Sea (i.e., 12 nautical miles from the low-water line along the coast).
In cases where a country's low-water lines is within 400 nautical miles of each other the EEZ boundaries are generally established by treaty, though there are many cases where these are in dispute.
Under UNCLOS, "land-locked and geographically disadvantaged States have the right to participate on an equitable basis in exploitation of an appropriate part of the surplus of the living resources of the EEZ's of coastal States of the same region or sub-region."
Some States have not ratified UNCLOS and many have not yet claimed their EEZ. These areas of unclaimed EEZ are the areas that a State has the right to claim under UNCLOS, but has not done so yet.
Given the uncertainties surrounding much of the delimitation of the EEZ, these figures should be used with caution
Further information on the Web site: http://www.maritimeboundaries.com/
Exclusive economic zone area calculations are from L. Pruett and J. Cimino, unpublished data, Global Maritime Boundaries Database (GMBD), Veridian - MRJ Technology Solutions, (Fairfax, Virginia, January, 2000).
Copyright c 2002 (Aggregations) United Nations Environment Programme/DEWA/GRID-Geneva.
Data aggregation made by Andrea DeBono and Ola Nordbeck (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva).