Territorial Waters and the High Seas

Archive Report

Controversies Over Maritime Jurisdiction

Where national jurisdiction ends and free passage under international law begins for ships on the sea and planes in the air is a question increasingly difficult to answer. The three-mile limit that traditionally bounded the territorial waters of maritime nations no longer applies with anything approaching universality. The Soviet Union and several other countries claim sole control of a marginal belt of 12 nautical miles. Four Latin American countries—Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and El Salvador—assert sovereignty over Pacific Ocean waters 200 miles to sea.

Efforts to extend the national domain into broad areas of the open sea have practical effects of great importance. Enforcement of a 12-mile limit in Soviet and Soviet-controlled territory along the Baltic Sea has forced Scandinavian fishing boats to ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles