The world map that we are so accustomed to seeing does not do justice in terms of representing the actual extent of territory, both on land and at sea, that each independent country is in control of. The seemingly distorted political map above demonstrates just that.
During the middle of 20th century, as more nations started to feel the pressure to protect their marine resources, a concerted effort involving 160 member parties has brought the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea), sometimes also referred to the Law of the Sea Convention, to existence in 1982.
The map charts the sea territory of coastal-lying nations, which is referred to by UNCLOS as the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), involving the area for up to 200 nautical miles from the country’s coastline. As what the term suggests, the coastal country owns full control over the economic resources – oil reserve, marine resources, etc. - within the EEZ.
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