EEZ Governance in Australia, Canada, the United States and New Zealand

by Richard G. Hildreth, Univ of Oregon Sch of Law, Eugene, OR, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


All four nations listed in the title claim 200-mile exclusive resource zones based on the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf provisions. These relatively new zones have been superimposed upon the more traditional marine zones recognized by international law - internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, and continental shelf - and an English common law heritage. Constitutional arrangements with respect to federal-state (Australia, United States) and federal-provincial (Canada) roles offshore historically have followed remarkably similar paths that now are diverging in important ways which are the focus of this paper. New Zealand illustrates progressive EEZ management uncomplicated by the difficult federalism questions present in the other three. Australia and Canada illustrate creative approaches to overcoming EEZ federalism issues that have hindered improvements in United States EEZ management. From these experiences, suggestions for restructuring U. S. EEZ governance are derived.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Laws and regulations | Seas and oceans | Economic factors | Claims | Water policy | Management methods | Legislation | Australia | United States | Canada | New Zealand | Oceania

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