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25 Ocean L. Memo 1 (1984)

handle is hein.journals/ocoaslme25 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Ocean and Coastal  Law Center * School of Law  * University of Oregon   Iwew   .-9-7403

Ocean L- -memo

Issue 25                                                                     April 1984



     On  March  10,  1983, following  the
 lead of approximately fifty-four coastal
 nations,  President   Reagan  proclaimed
 United States  jurisdiction over  living
 and non-living  resources within  an Ex-
 clusive  Economic  Zone  (EEZ) extending
 200 miles  seaward of the  coastal base-
 line.   The EEZ proclamation  is perhaps
 the  most important  of numerous  execu-
 tive, legislative,  and judicial actions
 taken during 1983 that represent signif-
 icant  developments  in U.S.  ocean  and
 coastal  law and policy.   This  special
 Ocean Law Memo chronicles those develop-
 ments; further, it attempts  to give the
 reader  insight into current  trends and
 future directions  in ocean  and coastal
 policy at the state, federal, and inter-
 national  levels.    As  the  Ocean  and
 Coastal Law  Center is  considering pub-
 lishing an  annual  recent developments
 memo similar  to this one,  reader com-
 ments  and suggestions  for  improvement
 are especially solicited.


      A.  Law of the Sea Convention

      Representing the most important de-
 velopment  in  international  ocean  law
 since the  1958 Geneva Conventions,  the
 United Nations Convention on  the Law of
 the Sea opened for signature  in Jamaica
 on December 10, 1982.   The Convention's
 broad scope  reflects the  international
 community's common interest in peaceful,
 comprehensive management of  the world's
 oceans.   At  this writing,  the  United
 States  has not  signed  the  Convention
 because of  several major  problems  in
 the Convention's deep seabed mining pro-
 visions [that] are  contrary to the  in-
 terests of  industrialized nations,  and
 would not help attain the aspirations of
 developing countries.  Statement by the
 President on United States Oceans  Poli-
 Sy, 19 WEEKLY COMP. PRES. DOC. 383 (Mar.
 10,  1983).   Presumably,  these  major

problems  arise from new duties imposed
upon  parties to  the Convention seeking
to mine the seabed, principally the duty
to pay a percentage of the value of min-
eral  production from the area to be re-
distributed among third world nations.

     B.  Presidential   Proclamation  of
         Exclusive Economic Zone

     At  present, the  United States has
no   interest in  assuming  the  revenue
sharing  obligations imposed by  the Law
of  the  Sea Convention.   However,  the
U.S.  has found  some provisions  in the
Convention  to generally confirm exist-
ing maritime law and practice and fairly
balance  the  interests of  all states.
Id.    These  provisions  recognize  the
coastal nation's  right to an EEZ within
which  the coastal nation exercises full
control  and sole jurisdiction over eco-
nomic  resources.  President  Reagan re-
ferred  to these provisions when issuing
Proclamation No.  5030, establishing the
United  States EEZ  for the  purpose of
exploring,  exploiting,  conserving  and
managing natural  resources, both living
and  non-living, of  the seabed, subsoil
and  superadjacent waters.  . . .    48
Fed. Reg. 10605 (Mar. 14, 1983).

     Adopting  language from Article  56
of  the Law of  the Sea  Convention, the
President's  proclamation  asserts  U.S.
sovereign rights  over an area extend-
ing  to a  distance 200  nautical miles
from the baseline from which the breadth
of  the  territorial  sea is  measured.
Id.  The  Proclamation is likely to have
Tittle impact on U.S. oil and gas devel-
opment, as  the U.S. already  has exclu-
sive sovereign  rights over the explora-
tion for and the exploitation of oil and
gas  from the continental shelf.   Under
the  1958 Geneva Continental  Shelf Con-
vention and customary international law,
U.S. jurisdiction and control extends at
least  to the entire  natural prolonga-
tion of  the continental margin, whether
or not  the margin extends  less or more

Distributed by: OSU Extension Service' Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Corvallis, OR 97331

Issue 25

April 1984

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