Exclusive economic zone of Somalia

The exclusive economic zone of Somalia covers 830,389 km2 in the Indian Ocean.[1] It extends to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines, from which the breadth of the nation's territorial waters is measured. In accordance with Law No. 37 passed in 1972, Somalia's EEZ falls under its territorial sovereignty.[2]


Law No. 37 on the Territorial Sea and Ports

On 10 September 1972, the Parliament of Somalia passed Law No. 37 on the Territorial Sea and Ports. The bill extended Somalia's territorial sea to 200 nautical miles within the continental and insular coasts.[2] On 26 January 1989, the parliament passed legislation Law. 05, which approved the Somali Maritime Law (the Somali Maritime Law of 1988). The bill provides for a 200 nm territorial sea and exclusive economic zone.[3]

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

On 9 February 1989, the Somali parliament ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The treaty defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's oceans, and establishes guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.[4] The 1982 UNCLOS provides for a territorial sea and an EEZ of 350 nm.[5]

Somali Maritime Law

On 30 June 2014, President of Somalia Hasan Sheikh Mohamud outlined the exclusive economic zone of Somalia in relation to the Somali Maritime Law of 1988 passed by the Somali parliament. It stipulates that the Federal Republic of Somalia has:

Sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the seabed and subsoil and the superjacent waters, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploration and exploitation of the zone, such as the production of energy from water, currents and winds.


In August 2014, the Federal Government of Somalia formally asked the International Court of Justice "to determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of the single maritime boundary dividing all the maritime areas appertaining to Somalia and to Kenya in the Indian Ocean."[6]

Natural resources

Somalia has the longest coastline on mainland Africa,[7] and some of the continent's richest fish stocks.[8] The abundance in fisheries in the area is a result of the coastal upwelling of cold nutrient-rich subsurface oceanic waters. The upwelling results in the enrichment of phytoplankton and zooplankton, which, in turn, make the conditions favorable for some small pelagic fish such as sardines, herring, and scad.[8]

See also


  1. "EEZ Waters Of Somalia". The Pew Charitable Trusts. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Law No. 37 on the Territorial Sea and Ports, of 10 September 1972" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  3. Caron, edited by David D.; Oral, Nilufer (2014). Navigating Straits Challenges for International Law. Leiden: BRILL. p. 273. ISBN 9004266372.
  4. "Law of the Sea". Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  5. "UNCLOS Convention Overview". United Nations. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  6. "Somalia sues Kenya at top UN court over maritime border". AFP. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  7. International Traffic Network, The world trade in sharks: a compendium of Traffic's regional studies, (Traffic International: 1996), p.25.
  8. 1 2 Cushing 1969; Fisher et al 1973

External links

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