Exclusive economic zone

An exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is an area of the sea in which a sovereign state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind.[1] It stretches from the outer limit of the territorial sea (12 nautical miles from the baseline) out to 200 nautical miles (nmi) from the coast of the state in question. It is also referred to as a maritime continental margin and, in colloquial usage, may include the continental shelf. The term does not include either the territorial sea or the continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical mile limit. The difference between the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone is that the first confers full sovereignty over the waters, whereas the second is merely a "sovereign right" which refers to the coastal state's rights below the surface of the sea. The surface waters, as can be seen in the map, are international waters.[2]

The world's exclusive economic zones, shown in dark blue (distinguished from international waters in light blue)


Sea areas in international rights (top down view)

Generally, a state's exclusive economic zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea, extending seaward to a distance of no more than 200 nmi (370 km) out from its coastal baseline.[3] The exception to this rule occurs when exclusive economic zones would overlap; that is, state coastal baselines are less than 400 nmi (740 km) apart. When an overlap occurs, it is up to the states to delineate the actual maritime boundary.[4] Generally, any point within an overlapping area defaults to the nearest state.[5]

A state's exclusive economic zone starts at the seaward edge of its territorial sea and extends outward to a distance of 200 nmi (370 km) from the baseline. The exclusive economic zone stretches much further into sea than the territorial waters, which end at 12 nmi (22 km) from the coastal baseline (if following the rules set out in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea).[6] Thus, the exclusive economic zones includes the contiguous zone. States also have rights to the seabed of what is called the continental shelf up to 350 nmi (650 km) from the coastal baseline, beyond the exclusive economic zones, but such areas are not part of their exclusive economic zones. The legal definition of the continental shelf does not directly correspond to the geological meaning of the term, as it also includes the continental rise and slope, and the entire seabed within the exclusive economic zone.

Origin and history

The idea of allotting nations EEZs to give them more control of maritime affairs outside territorial limits gained acceptance in the late 20th century.

Initially, a country's sovereign territorial waters extended 3 nmi or 5.6 km (range of cannon shot) beyond the shore. In modern times, a country's sovereign territorial waters extend to 12 nmi (22 km) beyond the shore. One of the first assertions of exclusive jurisdiction beyond the traditional territorial seas was made by the United States in the Truman Proclamation of 28 September 1945. However, it was Chile and Peru respectively that first claimed maritime zones of 200 nautical miles with the Presidential Declaration Concerning Continental Shelf of 23 June 1947 (El Mercurio, Santiago de Chile, 29 June 1947) and Presidential Decree No. 781 of 1 August 1947 (El Peruano: Diario Oficial. Vol. 107, No. 1983, 11 August 1947).[7]

It was not until 1982 with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone was formally adopted.


De facto territories in the Spratly Islands

The exact extent of exclusive economic zones is a common source of conflicts between states over marine waters.

  • The South China Sea is the setting for several ongoing disputes between regional powers including China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
  • Croatia's ZERP (Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone) in the Adriatic Sea caused friction with Italy and Slovenia, and caused problems during the accession of Croatia to the European Union.
  • A wedge-shaped section of the Beaufort Sea is disputed between Canada and the United States, as the area reportedly contains substantial oil reserves.
  • Mauritius claims an EEZ for Tromelin Island from France and an EEZ in respect of the British Indian Ocean Territory from the UK. An Exclusive Economic Zone covering 2.3 million square kilometres is claimed by Mauritius.
  • Turkey claims a portion of Cyprus's claimed EEZ based on Turkey's definition that no islands, including Cyprus, can have a full EEZ[8][9] and should only be entitled to 12 nautical miles. Furthermore, the internationally unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also claims portions of Cyprus's claimed EEZ. Cyprus, intergovernmental organizations and other territories, such as the European Union, United States, Russia, Israel, Switzerland, Egypt, Saudi Arabia do not acknowledge the Turkish claims[10][11][12][13][14] on Cyprus's land and claimed sea, and urge Turkey to restrain itself from "illegal" drilling for gas in the island's claimed EEZ.[lower-alpha 1] The EU has threatened Turkey with economic and political sanctions for violating Cyprus's claimed EEZ.[26][27]
  • Greece claims a continental shelf and EEZ for all of its islands in the Aegean Sea (including Kastellorizo that has 11.98 km2 surface area) but Turkey refuses to recognize this, arguing that this claim is in violation of the principle of fairness of international law.
  • Greece claims that the maritime deal between internationally recognized GNA government of Libya and Turkey is illegal and it signed a counter agreement with Egypt.[28]
  • Lebanon claims that the agreement between Cyprus and Israel overlapped its own EEZ.
  • Japan claims an EEZ around Okinotorishima, but this is disputed by China, Taiwan, and South Korea, who claim it is an islet which is incapable of generating an EEZ.

Potential disputes

Regions where a permanent ice shelf extends beyond the coastline are also a source of potential dispute.[29]

Resolved disputes

  • The Cod Wars between the United Kingdom and Iceland occurred periodically over many decades, until they were resolved with a final agreement in 1976.
  • In 1992, the Canada–France Maritime Boundary Case, which centred on the EEZ around the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, was decided by an arbitral tribunal which concurred on the whole with the arguments put forth by Canada. France was awarded 18% of the area it had originally claimed.
  • In 1999, following the Hanish Islands conflict, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the EEZs of Yemen and Eritrea should be demarcated equidistantly between the mainlands of the two nations, without taking account of sovereignty over the islands.[30][31]
  • In 2009, in a dispute between Romania and Ukraine over Snake Island, the UN International Court of Justice decided that Snake Island has no EEZ beyond 12 nautical miles of its own land.[32]
  • In 2010 the Norway and Russia dispute of both territorial sea and EEZ with regard to the Svalbard archipelago as it affects Russia's EEZ due to its unique treaty status was resolved. A treaty was agreed in principle in April 2010 between the two states and subsequently officially ratified, resolving this demarcation dispute.[33] The agreement was signed in Murmansk on 15 September 2010.[34]
  • In 2014, the Netherlands and Germany resolved an old border dispute regarding the exact location of the border in the Dollart Bay.[35][36]

Transboundary stocks

Fisheries management, usually adhering to guidelines set by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), provides significant practical mechanisms for the control of EEZs. Transboundary fish stocks are an important concept in this control.[37] Transboundary stocks are fish stocks that range in the EEZs of at least two countries. Straddling stocks, on the other hand, range both within an EEZ as well as in the high seas, outside any EEZ. A stock can be both transboundary and straddling.[38]

By country

Various island countries

EEZs in the Caribbean Sea
EEZs in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
EEZs in the Pacific Ocean


Algeria on 17 April 2018 established an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off its coasts by Presidential Decree No. 18-96 of 2 Rajab 1439 corresponding to 20 March 2018.[39][40] The permanent mission of Spain to the United Nations on 27 July 2018 declared its disagreement with the EEZ announced by Algeria and that the government of Spain indicated its willingness to enter into negotiations with the government of Algeria with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable agreement on the outer limits of their respective exclusive economic zones,[41] The same was done by the Italian mission on 28 November 2018.[42] The two countries indicated that the Algerian measure had been taken unilaterally and without consulting them.

On 25 November 2018, the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent an oral note in response to the Spanish protest, explaining that the Algerian government does not recognize the largely exorbitant coordinates contained in Royal Decree 236/2013, which overlap with the coordinates of Presidential Decree n° 18–96 establishing an exclusive economic zone off the coast of Algeria. The Algerian government wished to emphasize that the unilateral delimitation carried out by Spain is not in conformity with the letter of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and has not taken into consideration the configuration, the specific characteristics and the special circumstances of the Mediterranean Sea, in particular for the case of the two countries whose coasts are located face to face, as well as the objective rules and relevant principles of international law to govern the equitable delimitation of the maritime areas between Algeria and Spain, in accordance with article 74 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Algeria expressed its willingness to negotiate for a just solution.[43]

On 20 June 2019 a communication from Algeria was sent. It was addressed to the Italian embassy[44] and the Spanish embassy in Algiers[45] to show their eligibility in Algeria's exclusive economic zone.


Argentina's exclusive economic zones, including its territorial claims (the Falklands and South Georgia etc. plus its Antarctic claim)

Considering the maritime areas claimed, the total area of Argentina reaches 3,849,756 km2. The recognized Argentine EEZ area is 1,159,063 km2.


Australia's exclusive economic zones, including its Antarctic claim

Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone was declared on 1 August 1994, and extends from 12 to 200 nautical miles (22 to 370 kilometres) from the coastline of Australia and its external territories, except where a maritime delimitation agreement exists with another state.[46][47] To the 12 nautical miles boundary is Australia's territorial waters. Australia has the third largest exclusive economic zone, behind France and the United States, but ahead of Russia, with the total area of 8,148,250 square kilometres, which actually exceeds its land territory.

The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) confirmed, in April 2008, Australia's rights over an additional 2.5 million square kilometres of seabed beyond the limits of Australia's EEZ.[48][49] Australia also claimed, in its submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, additional Continental Shelf past its EEZ from the Australian Antarctic Territory,[50] but these claims were deferred on Australia's request. However, Australia's EEZ from its Antarctic Territory is approximately 2 million square kilometres.[49]

RegionEEZ Area (km2)[49]
Mainland Australia (5 States and 3 Territories of the Australian Federation), Tasmania, and other minor islands6,048,681
Macquarie Island471,837
 Christmas Island463,371
 Norfolk Island428,618
Heard Island and McDonald Islands410,722
 Cocos Islands325,021
Australian Antarctic Territory2,000,000[note 1]


Brazil's exclusive economic zones

Brazil's EEZ includes areas around the Fernando de Noronha Islands, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, and the Trindade and Martim Vaz Islands. It is called the Blue Amazon.

RegionEEZ Area (km2)[51]
Mainland Brazil (9 States of the Brazilian Federation)2,570,917
Trindade and Martim Vaz Islands468,599
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago413,636
Fernando de Noronha Islands363,362

In 2004, Brazil submitted its claims to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to extend its maritime continental margin.[52]


Canada's exclusive economic zone and territorial waters

Canada is unusual in that its exclusive economic zone, covering 5,599,077 km2 (2,161,816 sq mi), is slightly smaller than its territorial waters.[53] The latter generally extend only 12 nautical miles from the shore, but also include inland marine waters such as Hudson Bay (about 300 nautical miles (560 km; 350 mi) across), the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the internal waters of the Arctic Archipelago.


Chile's exclusive economic zones, including its Antarctic claim

Chile's EEZ includes areas around the Desventuradas Islands, Easter Island, and the Juan Fernández Islands.

Region EEZ Area (km2)[54] Land Area (km2) Total
Mainland Chile 1,975,760 755,757 2,731,517
Easter Island 720,412 164 720,576
Juan Fernández Islands 502,524 100 502,624
Desventuradas Islands 449,836 5 449,841
Total 3,648,532 755,921 4,404,453


Exclusive economic zone claimed by the People's Republic of China:
  China's undisputed EEZ –
960,556 km2[55]
  EEZ claimed by China, disputed by Taiwan – 1,148,485 km2[56]
  EEZ claimed by China, disputed by other countries – 210,926 km2
Total: 2,236,430 km2[57]

The first figure excludes all disputed waters, while the last figure indicates China's claimed boundaries, and does not take into account adjacent powers' claims.


Croatia's exclusive economic zone(dark blue) and Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone

Croatia proclaimed Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone in 2003, but it was not enforced toward other European Union states especially Italy and Slovenia. The zone was upgraded to EEZ in 2021 together with Italy and Slovenia.[58][59] Territorial waters has 18,981 km2, while internal waters located within the baseline cover an additional 12,498 km2, and EEZ covers 24,482km2 for a total of 55,961km2.


Cyprus EEZ covers 98,707 square km (38,100 square miles). Cyprus' EEZ borders those of Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt.


The exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of the Kingdom of Denmark

The Kingdom of Denmark includes the constituent country (selvstyre) of Greenland and the constituent country (hjemmestyre) of the Faroe Islands.

Region EEZ & TW Area (km2)[60] Land area Total
 Denmark 105 989 42 506 149 083
 Faroe Islands 260 995 1 399 262 394
 Greenland 2,184,254 2,166,086 4,350,340
Total 2,551,238 2,210,579 4,761,817


Ecuador's exclusive economic zone

Area: 1,077,231 km2


Exclusive economic zones of France, including its Antarctic territorial claim

Due to its numerous overseas departments and territories scattered on all oceans of the planet, France possesses the largest EEZ in the world, covering 11.7 million km2.[61] The EEZ of France covers approximately 8% of the total surface of all the EEZs of the world, whereas the land area of the French Republic is only 0.45% of the total land area of Earth.


The German EEZ has an area of 32,982 km².


Greece forms the southernmost part of the Balkan peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. It includes many small islands which vary between 1,200 and 6,000 in the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Sea.[62] The largest islands are Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Rhodes and Chios.

Greece's EEZ is bordered to the west by Albania and Italy, to the south by Libya and Egypt, and to the east by Cyprus and Turkey.

EEZ Area of Greece[63]
Territory km2 sq mi Notes
Total 505,572 195,202


India's exclusive economic zones
EEZArea (km2)
Mainland India (9 States and 2 Union Territories of the Indian Federation) and Lakshadweep 1,641,514 km2
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 663,629 km2
Total 2,305,143 km2

India is currently seeking to extend its EEZ to 350 miles.[64]


Indonesia's exclusive economic zone

Indonesia has the 6th largest exclusive economic zone in the world. The total size is 6,159,032 km2 (2,378,016 sq mi). It claims an EEZ of 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its shores. This is due to the 13,466 islands of the Indonesian Archipelago.[65] It has the 2nd largest coastline of 54,720 km (34,000 mi). The five main islands are: Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Western New Guinea. There are two major island groups (Nusa Tenggara and the Maluku Islands) and sixty smaller island groups.


The Irish Exclusive Economic Zone was announced to be the location of a Russian military exercise in January 2022.[66] The exercise was then moved outside the economic zone.[67]


In 2010, an agreement was signed with Cyprus concerning the limit of territorial waters between Israel and Cyprus at the maritime halfway point, a clarification essential for safeguarding Israel's rights to oil and underwater gas reservoirs. The agreement was signed in Nicosia by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau and the Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou. The two countries agreed to cooperate in the development of any cross border resources discovered, and to negotiate an agreement on dividing joint resources.


Italy's EEZ in the Mediterranean Sea

Italy has the world's 48th largest EEZ, with an area of 541,915 km2 (209,235 sq mi).[63] It claims an EEZ of 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) from its shores, which has long coastlines with the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, the Ionian Sea to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Its EEZ is limited by maritime boundaries with neighboring countries to the north-west, east and southeast.

Italy's western sea territory stretches from the west coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea including the island Sardinia. The island Sicily is in the southernmost area. Lampedusa is Italy's southernmost point. It shares treaty-defined maritime boundaries with France, Spain, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Malta, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia.


Japan's exclusive economic zones:
  Japan's EEZ
  Joint regime with the Republic of Korea
  EEZ claimed by Japan, disputed by others

Japan has the 8th largest exclusive economic zone of 4,479,674 km2 (1,729,612 sq mi).[68] It claims an EEZ of 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its shores.

EEZ Areas of Japan
Region EEZ Area (km2) EEZ Area (sq mi)
Ryukyu Islands 1,394,676 538,487
Pacific Ocean (Japan) 1,162,334 448,780
Nanpō Islands 862,782 333,122
Sea of Japan 630,721 243,523
Minami-Tori-shima 428,875 165,590
Sea of Okhotsk 235 91
Daitō Islands 44 17
Senkaku Islands 7 2.7
Total[69] 4,479,674 1,729,612

Japan has disputes over its EEZ boundaries with all its Asian neighbors (China, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan). The above, and relevant maps at the Sea Around Us Project[70][71][72] both indicate Japan's claimed boundaries, and do not take into account the claims of adjacent jurisdictions.

Japan also refers to various categories of "shipping area" – Smooth Water Area, Coasting Area, Major or Greater Coasting Area, Ocean Going Area – but it is unclear whether these are intended to have any territorial or economic implications.


Exclusive economic zone of Mexico

Mexico's exclusive economic zones cover a total surface area of 3,144,295 km2, and places Mexico among the countries with the largest areas in the world.[73] This puts Mexico's total territory as 5,153,735 km2.

New Zealand

Exclusive economic zones of the Realm of New Zealand, including the Ross Dependency (shaded)

New Zealand's EEZ covers 4,083,744 km2 (1,576,742 sq mi),[74][75] which is approximately fifteen times the land area of the country. Sources vary significantly on the size of New Zealand's EEZ; for example, a recent government publication gave the area as roughly 4,300,000 km2.[76] These figures are for the EEZ of New Zealand proper, and do not include the EEZs of other territories in the Realm of New Zealand (the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and the Ross Dependency).

North Korea

The exclusive economic zone of North Korea

The exclusive economic zone of North Korea stretches 200 nautical miles from its basepoints in both the West Sea (Yellow Sea) and the Sea of Japan.[77] The EEZ was declared in 1977 after North Korea had contested the validity of the Northern Limit Lines (NLL) set up after the Korean War as maritime borders.[78] The EEZ has not been codified in law and North Korea has never specified its coordinates, making it difficult to determine its specific scope.[79]

In the West Sea, the EEZ remains unspecified in the Korea Bay because China has not determined its own EEZ in the area.[80] The border between the North Korean and South Korean EEZs in the West Sea cannot be determined because of potential overlap and disputes over certain islands.[81]

In the Sea of Japan, the North Korean EEZ can be approximated to be trapezoidal-shaped.[82] The border between North Korea and Russia's respective EEZs is the only such border that has been determined in East Asia.[83] Here, the EEZ does not cause many problems, even with regards to South Korea, because the sea is not thought to be rich in resources.[82]


Norway's exclusive economic zones, including the dependency of Bouvet Island

Norway has a large exclusive economic zone of 819,620 km2 around its coast. The country has a fishing zone of 1,878,953 km2, including fishing zones around Svalbard and Jan Mayen.[84]

In April 2009, the United Nations Commission for the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved Norway's claim to an additional 235,000 square kilometres of continental shelf. The commission found that Norway and Russia both had valid claims over a portion of shelf in the Barents Sea.[85]

Region EEZ and Territorial
Waters Area (km2)
Land Area (km2) Total (km2)
Mainland Norway 1,273,482 323,802 1,597,284
Svalbard 402,574 61,002 463,576
Jan Mayen 273,118 373 273,491
Bouvet Island 436,004 49 436,053
Total 2,385,178 385,226 2,770,404


Area: 290,000 km2

Pakistan coast is a 1046 km long coast, extending from sir creek in the east to Gwadar bay in the west ane the EEZ extends up to 290,000sqkm whick is more than 30% of its land area and ranks sixty sixth in the world by area.

Pakistan had an EEZ of 240,000 sqkm before their case was accepted by UNCLCS. Pakistan Navy with the help of National Oceanographic Organization(NIO) initiated the continental shelf case at ministerial level in 1995.

On 26 Aug 2013, a seven-member sub commission with members from Japan, China, Mozambique, Kenya, Demark, Georgia and Argentina was formulated at UNCLCS to evaluate technical details of Pakistan case and after a year accepted Pakistan's claim.

On 13 March 2015, UN Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) accepted recommendations for extension of the outer limits of the continental shelf on Pakistan's case so far 80 countries had submitted claims to UNCLCS out of which recommendations of 22 countries including Pakistan had been finalised.

It was a historic event in the country's history when Pakistan became the first country in the region to have its continental shelf extended to 350 nm.

Some of the claimed territory overlapped Omani claim. It is believed that the verdict in favour of Pakistan was announced after successful negotiation with Oman.


Peru's exclusive economic zone

Area: 906,454 km2


The exclusive economic zone of the Philippines shown in the lighter blue shade, with Archepelagic Waters in the darkest blue

The Philippines' EEZ covers 2,263,816 km2 (874,064 sq mi).[86]


The Polish EEZ covers the area of 30,533 km2 (11,789 sq mi) within the Baltic Sea.[87]


Portugal's Exclusive Economic Zones plus submitted Extended Continental Shelf to the UN[88]

Portugal has the 20th largest EEZ in the world. Presently, it is divided in three non-contiguous sub-zones:

Portugal submitted a claim to extend its jurisdiction over an additional 2.15 million square kilometres of the adjacent continental shelf in May 2009,[89] resulting in an area with a total of more than 3,877,408 km2. The submission, as well as a detailed map, can be found in the Task Group for the extension of the Continental Shelf website.

Spain formerly objected to the EEZ's southern border, maintaining that it should be drawn halfway between Madeira and the Canary Islands. But Portugal exercises sovereignty over the Savage Islands, a small archipelago north of the Canaries, claiming an EEZ border further south. Spain no longer disputes the Portuguese claim since 2015.[90][91]


Area: 23,627 km2


Russia's exclusive economic zone

4th largest

  • Kaliningrad (Baltic Sea) – 11,634 km2
  • Saint Petersburg (Baltic Sea) – 12,759 km2
  • Barents Sea – 1,308,140 km2
  • Black Sea (without the Crimean EEZ) – 66,854 km2
  • Pacific – 3,419,202 km2
  • Siberia – 3,277,292 km2
  • Total – 8,095,881 km2[92]


Senegal's exclusive economic zone

Area: 158,861 km2


Somalia's exclusive economic zone

Area: 825,052 km2

South Africa

South Africa's maritime zones, including the exclusive economic zone

South Africa's EEZ includes both that next to the African mainland and that around the Prince Edward Islands, totalling 1,535,538 km2.[63]

  • Mainland – 1,068,659 km2
  • Prince Edward islands – 466,879 km2

South Korea

South Korean exclusive economic zone:
  Korean EEZ
  EEZ claimed by Republic of Korea and Japan
  Joint regime with Japan

Area: 300,851 (225,214) km2


Spain's exclusive economic zone. (Labels in Spanish)

Area: 1,039,233 km2


Turkey's EEZ is bordered by Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria in the Black Sea to the north, Greece in the Aegean Sea to the west, and Cyprus and Syria in the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Turkey is one of the few countries to not have signed UNCLOS and disputes Greece's and Cyprus' EEZ.

United Kingdom

The exclusive economic zones of the United Kingdom in blue, including the British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies. The British claim in Antarctica is shown in shaded blue.[93]
UK, Ireland, Iceland & Faroes EEZ

The United Kingdom has the fifth largest exclusive economic zone of 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi) square km. It comprises the EEZs surrounding the United Kingdom,[94] the Crown Dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories. The figure does not include the EEZ of the British Antarctic Territory.

The EEZ associated with the Falkland Islands and South Georgia are disputed by Argentina. The EEZ of the Chagos Archipelago, also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory, is also disputed with Mauritius which considers the archipelago as a part of its territory.

The EEZ areas of the United Kingdom, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories (in decreasing size)[63]
Territory EEZ Area (km2) EEZ Area (sq mi) Notes
 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 1,449,532 559,667 Disputed with  Argentina.
 Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands 836,108 322,823
 United Kingdom 773,676 298,718 Including the  Isle of Man.
 Tristan da Cunha 754,720 291,400 Including Gough Island.
 British Indian Ocean Territory 638,568 246,552 Disputed with  Mauritius.
 Falkland Islands 550,872 212,693 Disputed with  Argentina.
 Bermuda 450,370 173,890
 Saint Helena 444,916 171,783
 Ascension Island 441,658 170,525
 Turks and Caicos Islands 154,068 59,486
 Cayman Islands 119,137 45,999
 Anguilla 92,178 35,590
 British Virgin Islands 80,117 30,933
Channel Islands 11,658 4,501 Including  Guernsey and  Jersey.
 Montserrat 7,582 2,927
 Gibraltar 426 164 Disputed with  Spain.
 Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia 0 0 No EEZ area. The relevant EEZ areas around Cyprus Island are claimed by the  Republic of Cyprus[95] and  Northern Cyprus.[96]
Total 6,805,586 2,627,651

A part of the overseas territory of  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, which together has an EEZ of 1,641,294 square km.

United States

The USA's Exclusive Economic Zones

The United States' exclusive economic zone is the second largest in the world, covering 11,351,000 km2. Areas of its EEZ are located in three oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

The EEZ (including territorial sea) areas of the territories of the U.S. (in decreasing size)[97]
Territory EEZ Area (km2) EEZ Area (sq mi) Notes
 Alaska 3,770,021 1,455,613 A non-contiguous state in the northwest extremity of the North American continent.
 HawaiiNorthwestern Islands 1,579,538 609,863 Including Midway Atoll, these islands form the Leeward Islands of the Hawaiian island chain.
U.S. East Coast 915,763 353,578 The mainland coastal states of the Eastern United States. As a region, this term most often refers to the coastal states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic Coast of Florida.
 HawaiiSoutheastern Islands 895,346 345,695 These islands form the Windward Islands of the Hawaiian island chain.
U.S. West Coast 825,549 318,746 The mainland coastal states of the Western United States. As a region, this term most often refers to the coastal states of California, Oregon, Washington.
 Northern Mariana Islands 749,268 289,294 An organized unincorporated Commonwealth of the United States.
U.S. Gulf Coast 707,832 273,295 The mainland coastal states of the Southern United States. As a region, this term most often refers to the coastal states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Gulf Coast of Florida
 Johnston Atoll 442,635 170,902 A National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.
Howland and Baker Islands 434,921 167,924 Including Howland Island and Baker Island, both territories are National Wildlife Refuges in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.
 Wake Island 407,241 157,237 A National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.
 American Samoa 404,391 156,136 The only inhabited unorganized unincorporated territory of the United States.
Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef 352,300 136,000 Both territories are National Wildlife Refuges in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.
Jarvis Island 316,665 122,265 A National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.
 Guam 221,504 85,523 An organized unincorporated territory of the United States.
 Puerto Rico 177,685 68,605 An organized unincorporated Commonwealth of the United States.
 U.S. Virgin Islands 33,744 13,029 An organized unincorporated territory of the United States.
Navassa Island N/A[note 2] N/A[note 2] A National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands. A joint Cuba–Haiti Maritime Boundary Agreement signed at Havana in 1977 bilaterally divides the waters between both local nations and Cuba's maritime boundary places the island within Haitian waters and doesn't recognize any local U.S. claim in the area.
Total 11,351,000 4,383,000

Note, the totals in the table actually add up to 12,234,403 square km and 4,723,705 square miles.


Territorial claims in the South China Sea. Vietnam's EEZ has a blue line.

Vietnam claims an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 1,395,096 km2 (538,650 sq mi) with 200 nautical miles (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) from its shores.[101][102]

Excluding all disputed waters, Vietnam has an undisputed exclusive economic zone of 417,663 km2 (161,261 sq mi). This figure does not include the claimed EEZ areas of the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands. Vietnam has disputes mainly with the People's Republic of China due to the nine-dash line.

Rankings by area

Countries with the most distant EEZs

This list includes dependent territories (including uninhabited territories) within their sovereign states, but does not include various claims on Antarctica. EEZ+TIA is exclusive economic zone (EEZ) plus total internal area (TIA) which includes territorial land and internal waters.

Rank Country EEZ km2[63] Shelf km2 EEZ+TIA km2
1 France[note 3]11,691,000730,74512,366,417
2 United States[note 4]11,351,0002,193,52621,814,306
3 Australia[note 5]8,505,3482,194,00816,197,464
4 Russia7,566,6733,817,84324,664,915
5 United Kingdom[note 6]6,805,586872,8917,048,486
6 Indonesia6,159,0322,039,3818,063,601
7 Canada5,599,0772,644,79515,607,077
8 Japan4,479,388214,9764,857,318
9 New Zealand[note 7]4,420,565[74][75][103]272,898[74][75][103]4,688,285[104][105]
10 Brazil3,830,955774,56312,345,832
11 Chile3,681,989252,9474,431,381
12 Kiribati3,441,8107,5233,442,536
13 Mexico3,269,386419,1025,141,968
14 Federated States of Micronesia2,996,41919,4032,997,121
15 Denmark[note 8]2,551,238495,6574,761,811
16 Papua New Guinea2,402,288191,2562,865,128
17 Norway[note 9]2,385,178434,0202,770,404
18 India2,305,143402,9965,592,406
19 Marshall Islands1,990,53018,4111,990,711
 Cook Islands[note 10]1,960,0271,2131,960,267
20 Portugal[note 11]1,727,40828,0001,819,498
21 Philippines1,590,780272,9211,890,780
22 Solomon Islands1,589,47736,2821,618,373
23 South Africa1,535,538156,3372,756,575
24 Seychelles1,336,55939,0631,337,014
25 Mauritius1,284,99729,0611,287,037
26 Fiji1,282,97847,7051,301,250
27 Madagascar1,225,259101,5051,812,300
28 Argentina1,159,063856,3463,939,463[106]
29 Ecuador1,077,23141,0341,333,600
30 Spain1,039,23377,9201,545,225
31 Maldives923,32234,538923,622
32 Peru906,45482,0002,191,670
33 China877,019231,34010,473,980
34 Somalia825,05255,8951,462,709
35 Colombia808,15853,6911,949,906
36 Cape Verde800,5615,591804,594
37 Iceland751,345108,015854,345
38 Tuvalu749,7903,575749,816
39 Vanuatu663,25111,483675,440
40 Tonga659,5588,517660,305
41 Bahamas654,715106,323668,658
42 Palau603,9782,837604,437
43 Mozambique578,98694,2121,380,576
44 Morocco575,230115,1571,287,780
45 Costa Rica574,72519,585625,825
46 Namibia564,74886,6981,388,864
47 Yemen552,66959,2291,080,637
48 Italy541,915116,834843,251
49 Oman533,18059,071842,680
50 Myanmar532,775220,3321,209,353
51 Sri Lanka532,61932,453598,229
52 Angola518,43348,0921,765,133
53 Greece505,57281,451637,529
54 South Korea475,469342,522575,469
55 Venezuela471,50798,5001,387,950
56 Vietnam417,663365,198748,875
57 Ireland410,310139,935480,583
58 Libya351,58964,7632,111,129
59 Cuba350,75161,525460,637
60 Panama335,64653,404411,163
61 Malaysia334,671323,412665,474
 Niue[note 10]316,584284316,844
62 Nauru308,48041308,501
63 Equatorial Guinea303,5097,820331,560
64 Thailand299,397230,063812,517
65 Pakistan290,00051,3831,117,911
66 Egypt263,45161,5911,265,451
67 Turkey261,65456,0931,045,216
68 Jamaica258,1379,802269,128
69 Dominican Republic255,89810,738304,569
70 Liberia249,73417,715361,103
71 Honduras249,54268,718362,034
72 Tanzania241,88825,6111,186,975
73 Ghana235,34922,502473,888
74 Saudi Arabia228,633107,2492,378,323
75 Nigeria217,31342,2851,141,081
76 Sierra Leone215,61128,625287,351
77 Gabon202,79035,020470,458
78 Barbados186,898426187,328
79 Côte d'Ivoire176,25410,175498,717
80 Iran168,718118,6931,797,468
81 Mauritania165,33831,6621,190,858
82 Comoros163,7521,526165,987
83 Sweden160,885154,604602,255
84 Senegal158,86123,092355,583
85 Netherlands[note 12]154,01177,246192,345
86 Ukraine147,31879,142750,818
87 Uruguay142,16675,327318,381
88 Guyana137,76550,578352,734
89 São Tomé and Príncipe131,3971,902132,361
90 Samoa127,9502,087130,781
91 Suriname127,77253,631291,592
92 Haiti126,7606,683154,510
93 Algeria126,3539,9852,508,094
94 Nicaragua123,88170,874254,254
95 Guinea-Bissau123,72539,339159,850
96 Bangladesh118,81366,438230,390
97 Kenya116,94211,073697,309
98 Guatemala114,17014,422223,059
99 North Korea113,888[107][108]50,337[107][108]234,428[109]
100 Antigua and Barbuda110,0894,128110,531
101 Tunisia101,85767,126265,467
102 Cyprus98,7074,042107,958
103 El Salvador90,96216,852112,003
104 Finland[note 13]87,17185,109425,590
105 Republic of China (Taiwan)83,23143,016119,419
106 Eritrea77,72861,817195,328
107 Trinidad and Tobago74,19925,28479,329
108 East Timor70,32625,64885,200
109 Sudan68,14819,8271,954,216
110 Cambodia62,51562,515243,550
111 Guinea59,42644,755305,283
112 Croatia59,03250,277115,626
113 United Arab Emirates58,21857,474141,818
114 Germany57,48557,485414,599
115 Malta54,8235,30155,139
116 Estonia36,99236,99282,219
117 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines36,3021,56136,691
118 Belize35,35113,17858,317
119 Bulgaria34,30710,426145,186
120 Benin33,2212,721145,843
121 Qatar31,59031,59043,176
122 Republic of the Congo31,0177,982373,017
123 Poland29,79729,797342,482
124 Dominica28,98565929,736
125 Latvia28,45227,77293,011
126 Grenada27,4262,23727,770
127 Israel26,3523,74548,424
128 Romania23,62719,303262,018
129 Gambia23,1125,58134,407
130 Georgia21,9463,24391,646
131 Lebanon19,5161,06729,968
132 Cameroon16,54711,420491,989
133 Saint Lucia15,61754416,156
134 Albania13,6916,97942,439
135 Togo12,0451,26568,830
136 Kuwait11,02611,02628,844
137 Syria10,5031,085195,683
138 Bahrain10,22510,22510,975
139 Brunei10,0908,50915,855
140 Saint Kitts and Nevis9,97465310,235
141 Montenegro7,7453,89621,557
142 Djibouti7,4593,18730,659
143 Lithuania7,0317,03172,331
144 Belgium3,4473,44733,975
145 Democratic Republic of the Congo1,6061,5932,346,464
146 Singapore1,0671,0671,772
147 Iraq771771439,088
148 Monaco2882290
149 Palestine2562566,276
150 Slovenia22022020,493
151 Jordan1665989,508
152 Bosnia and Herzegovina505051,259
 Central African Republic622,984
 South Sudan619,745
 Burkina Faso274,222
 Czech Republic78,867
 North Macedonia25,713
 San Marino61
  Vatican City0.44
Total United Nations137,926,51525,149,113274,891,722

See also


  1. The reference gives an approximate figure of 2 million square kilometres for the EEZ claimed by Australia as part of its Antarctic Territory. This is in addition to the 8 million square kilometre total given in the reference. This EEZ is also distinct from the 2.56 million square kilometres of additional continental shelf mentioned in the reference.
  2. The source does not provide any data for Navassa Island[98][99] even though the U.S. federal government did claim an EEZ area for this disputed territory.[100]
  3. Comprising Metropolitan France and Overseas France.
  4. Including Palmyra Atoll and 12 unincorporated territories of the United States. The source does not provide any data for Navassa Island.
  5. Including 6 Australian external territories.
  6. Comprising the United Kingdom, 3 Crown dependencies and 12 British Overseas Territories. The source does not provide any data for the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.
  7. Comprising New Zealand proper and Tokelau. The Cook Islands and Niue are listed separately due to their full treaty-making capacities within the United Nations System.
  8. Comprising Denmark proper, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.
  9. Including Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, and Svalbard.
  10. A part of the Realm of New Zealand, listed separately due to its full treaty-making capacity within the United Nations System.
  11. Comprising Continental Portugal, the Azores, and Madeira.
  12. Comprising the European Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean.
  13. Including Åland.
a. ^ The political status of Kosovo is disputed. Having unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo is formally recognised as an independent state by 101 UN member states (with another 13 states recognising it at some point but then withdrawing their recognition) and 92 states not recognizing it, while Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own territory.


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Works cited:

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