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U-Shaped Line and Maritime Delimitation

The Effect of Historic Fishing Rights In Maritime Boundaries Delimitation

South China Sea

The Effect of Historic Fishing Rights In Maritime Boundaries Delimitation

Leonardo Bernard
Research Fellow, Centre for International Law
National University of Singapore

I. Introduction

When the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) regime was established by the Third United Nations Conference of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) it created a new fisheries regime for coastal States. The EEZ regime under Part V of the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) grants coastal States exclusive rights to fisheries resources as far as 200 nautical miles (nm) from their coastlines. It has been commonly asserted that the EEZ regime, which is now widely accepted as customary international law, precludes States from making claims to traditional or historic fishing rights in the EEZ of other States. Some States, however, have continued to assert historic fishing rights within the EEZ of other States, the most prominent example being…

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