territorial waters

territorial waters
the waters of a littoral state that are regarded as under the jurisdiction of the state: traditionally those waters within three miles (4.8 km) of the shore, but in the 20th century claims by coastal nations have extended to 12 or even 200 miles (19.3 or 321.8 km). Also called marine belt. Cf. high sea.
[1870-75]

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Waters under the sovereign jurisdiction of a nation or state, including both marginal sea and inland waters.

The concept originated in the 17th-century controversy over the status of the sea. Though the doctrine that the sea must be free to all was upheld, a nation's jurisdiction over its coastal waters was also recognized. Nations subscribing to the Law of the Sea observe a territorial limit of 12 nautical mi (22 km) from shore. Territorial rights include the airspace above those waters and the seabed below them. See also high seas.

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Universalium. 2010.

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