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After World War II, many countries extended
their territorial waters to 12 miles.

1945 America extended its jurisdiction to all

Natural resources on the Continental shelf.

1946 Argentina followed suit.

1947 Chile and Peru joined in.

1950 Equador to protect its fish stock extended

its territorial waters to 200 miles.
What features led to the
formation of UNCLOS?

• 1. National claims over offshore

• 2. Coastal Fish stock threatened.
• 3. Threat of Pollution from ships.
• 4. Maritime powers striving to
world presence
1st November 1967
• Malta’s Ambassador, Mr. Arvid
Pardo, while addressing the UN
General Assembly called for an
end to conflicts by having an
“effective International regime
over the Sea bed and the Ocean
floor beyond a clearly defined
National Jurisdiction”
• Pardo’s call led to :
• 1. Forming of a UN Seabed Committee.
• 2. Banning of nuclear weapons on the Seabed.
• 3. Adoption of a declaration by the UN general
Assembly that all resources beyond limits of
the National Jurisdiction are the common
heritage of mankind.
• The Stockholm conference on “Human
• 5. The 3rd UN Conference on Law of the Sea
deciding to write a comprehensive treaty
OF THE SEA, 1982
• 1973 : UN Conference convened in New
(After 9 years of discussion)
• 10.12.1982 : Adopted :A constitution for
the Seas.
• 16.11.1994 : Entered into Force
• Convention is laid out in 320 Articles
arranged in 17 parts and 9 Annexes.
• 1. Navigational Rights
• 2. Setting of Territorial Sea Limits.
• 3. Economic jurisdiction.
• 4. Legal Status of resources on the Sea
bed, beyond the limit of National
• 5. Passage of ships through narrow
• 6. Conservation and Management of
living Marine resources.
Provisions (contd)
• 7. Protection of the Marine
• 8. Marine Research regime.
• 9. Binding Procedure for settling

(The provisions were to be adopted as

a “package deal” viz., accepted in
1. Navigational
Freedom of Navigation rights
All States shall have the right to use the high
Seas for navigation, even if they be landlocked.
Right to Innocent Passage
Merchant ships and War ships have the right to
innocent passage through the territorial waters
of a Coastal State provided such passage is not
detrimental to the State and does not threaten
its security or violate its laws.
In these waters, States may establish sea lanes,
and air routes where all ships and aircraft enjoy
unobstructed passage
1. Navigational rights
• Transit Passage:
• 1. Straits of Gibraltar (8 miles
• 2. Straits of Malacca (20 miles
• 3. Straits of Hormuz (21 miles
• 4. Bab el Mandeb (14 miles wide)
1. Navigational rights
Transit passage is a compromise of
Innocent passage:
2. Straits given international status.
3. Must follow rules of Navigation, air
traffic, oil pollution, to proceed
without delay/ stopping.
4. Must pose no threat to Coastal
5. In all other matters the Strait is to
be considered a territorial water
• Countries like Indonesia and
Philippines consist of a string of
In such cases the territorial waters
extend from the outermost points of
the outermost islands.
The waters in between are called
“Archipelagic Waters” and are open
to “innocent passage”
2. Territorial Sea Limits

• A Territorial Waters
Within 12 miles territorial area,
States are free to enforce any Law,
regulate any use and exploit any
2. Territorial Sea Limits
• B. Contiguous Zone


ENFORCE Laws within their territorial
Seas, Coastal States are empowered to
implement certain rights in areas, upto 24
nautical miles, for preventing certain
violations and enforcing police powers. This
area may be used by Coast Guard (or Navy)
to chase and arrest drug smugglers, illegal
immigrants, Customs or Tax evaders, who
have violated laws within its territory.
2. Territorial Sea Limits
• C. Exclusive Economic Zone

• Coastal States have a right to exploit,

develop, manage and conserve all reserves
upto 200 miles. Includes oil gas, fish,
minerals and metals

This is a big boon as 87% of known off shore

oil reserves falls in this zone.
Most lucrative stocks of fish also fall in this
2. Territorial Sea Limits
• D. Continental Shelf

• In case the Continental shelf

extends beyond 200 miles, then the
State may extend its Exclusive
Economic Zone to 350 miles.
3. Economic Jurisdiction
4. Legal Status of Resources
on the High Seas
• Part XI of the Convention deals with
mining of minerals lying on the Ocean floor
• Consultations succeeded in July 1998 and
an agreement on the implementation of
Part XI was reached.
• Such resources are under the control of
the “International Sea bed Authority”
• The authority has an Assembly, a Council
and a Secretariat
5. Passage of Ships through
narrow straits
• Discussed under Transit Passage
6. Conservation and Management
of living Marine resources.
• The Convention encourages optimum use
of Fish stock without risking depletion
through overfishing. Each state is to
determine the total allowable catch for
each species of fish within its zone and
what it is able to catch . States are
obliged to give access to others,
particularly landlocked States to surplus
of the allowable catch.
7. Protection of Marine
• The main sources of pollution
addressed in the Convention are:
a) Land based and coastal activity.
c) Continental shelf drilling.
d) Seabed mining activity.
e) Ocean dumping.
f) Pollution from ships.
g) Pollution of and from the
1. Marine Research
9. Binding Procedure for settling
Key features of UNCLOS
that concern shipping
• Article 90 Right of Navigation
• Article 91 Nationality of Ships.
• Article 92 Status of ships
• Article 94 Duties of Flag State
• Article 98 Duty to render assistance
• Article 99 Prohibition of transport
of slaves
Key features of UNCLOS that
concern shipping (contd)
Article 101 Any illegal act of violence
committed on the high seas against
another ship or against persons or
property on board of such ship.

Article 108 Illicit traffic in narcotic


Article 113 Breaking or injuring of

. submarine cables or
Key features of UNCLOS that
concern shipping (contd)
• Article 211 Pollution from vessels.

• Article 217 Enforcement by Flag

Obligation of Coastal
• Fundamental obligation of all States
to protect and preserve the
• With regard to Marine Pollution from
foreign ships, Coastal States can only
exercise Laws of “generally accepted
international rules and standards”.
• Duty of the Flag State to
enforce adopted rules (on the high
Rights of Coastal States
• States have right to enforce their
national standards and anti pollution
measures within their Seas
• Each state has the power to protect
and preserve the marine environment
in its EEZ
UNCLOS in India
• The Department of Ocean Development is the
agency for implementing UNCLOS in India.
• States are required to submit data for claim
within 10 years from date of ratification which
has given India an area of about 1 million sq kms
outside the EEZ.
• Resources found in this area will be Indian with
no obligation to give access for the surplus.
• It will be possible for India to lay submarine
cables and pipelines which are useful for
communications in this additional area