A coastal state's sovereignty extends beyond its land, territory, and internal waters, as well as, in the case of an archipelagic state, its archipelagic waters, to a neighboring strip of sea known as the territorial sea. The territorial sea is defined by law as being out to 12 nautical miles from each country's coastline.
These are some of the main things you need to know about territorial seas.
The legal status of the territorial sea, the air space over the territorial sea, and the bed and subsoil of the territorial sea 1. A coastal state's sovereignty extends beyond its land territory and internal waters, as well as, in the case of an archipelagic state, its archipelagic waters, to a neighboring strip of sea known as the territorial sea. 2. The territorial sea has specific boundaries that vary between different conventions and agreements. These are generally described by their nearest point from the coast of the state they border, with additional requirements for islands. 3. The territorial sea serves as an extension of the country's jurisdiction under its maritime law.
The legal status of the territorial sea depends on how it is defined in local laws. There is no single definition of the term "territorial sea" across international law, but it usually refers to the area within which a state can claim exclusive economic zone (EEZ) rights. In addition, some treaties limit a state's access to other states' coasts within close proximity (usually not more than 100 miles). The territorial sea is also referred to as the marine environment within this boundary.
Generally, the coastal state has exclusive authority for regulation of activities within its territorial sea. However, it may allow other states to operate within its airspace or continental shelf if it chooses to do so. For example, a state may grant other countries permission to conduct military exercises on its own soil if it wants to keep tensions low.
The seabed and subsoil of undersea regions that extend beyond a coastal state's territorial sea across the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer border of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the...
Territorial seas are defined as areas of ocean beyond national jurisdiction but within the limits of the country's sovereignty. The territorial sea extends up to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from the coastline and can be further extended by treaty arrangements with other countries. In addition, there are other zones within the broader area of international waters that are subject to specific agreements, such as environmental protection zones and scientific research stations.
The continental shelf extends beyond the territorial sea into high seas. The length of the continental shelf depends on how far it is measured from the low-water mark around the coast; generally, the shallowest part of the continental slope is included in this measurement. For example, if the low-water line were the shoreline at high tide, then the continental shelf would stretch out from that point for about 3500 kilometers (2200 miles). But because deep water wells back up onto the shelf, most experts estimate that the actual maximum length is less than 3000 kilometers (1865 miles).
The depth of water over the continental shelf varies from a few meters to more than 6000 meters (20,000 feet), depending on location.
The territorial sea is considered the state's sovereign domain, even though foreign ships (military and civilian) are permitted innocent passage across it or transit access for straits; this sovereignty also extends to the airspace above and the seabed below. The coastal state can decide who may enter its territory by maritime law, which can be very strict when making restrictions on foreign vessels.
The sea boundaries set forth in international treaties or implied by general principles of international law are usually not marked by physical structures such as flags or towers but rather by a zone within which a country's jurisdiction over naval activity exists. The zone varies in width based on the type of vessel involved but generally encompasses a distance of between 12-mile-wide (20 km) and 200-mile-wide (322 km). Within its zone, a country has authority to control what activities take place, who is allowed to participate in them, and where they can be conducted.
A country can extend its territorial waters from its shoreline further than 12 miles (20 km) by legislative act or executive decree. The goal is to have sufficient room beyond national borders to operate military and other vessels without violating the sovereignty of another country. However, since no country has the right to deny entry into its own waterways, this limit is often not reached even by countries with large territories.
The terrain near to the sea's beach or boundary. Also: that part of a coastline which is near the sea.
Coastal areas are often rich in natural resources such as fish, shellfish, and minerals. They can also be very vulnerable to environmental change due to their proximity to the ocean. Land use in coastal areas tends to be more flexible than inland, with residential housing popularly located within a few hundred yards of the shoreline. Commercial and industrial activity is generally found farther away from the water, although there are some exceptions.
Coastal zones include beaches, bays, sounds, and inlets. A sandy beach is made up of small grains of quartz, calcium carbonate, and other substances washed down from the surrounding area. A muddy beach is made up of small shells and other marine debris. Sandbars are narrow strips of sand or mud connected to the main body of land by a thin strip of water called a channel. Sheepshead, a type of fish, make their home on these bars during most of the year before moving into deeper waters once spawning time comes around. Swamps are areas of wetland vegetation dominated by sycamore trees, usually found along creeks or rivers.