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The Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) and Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ)
On 1 August 1994, Australia declared an EEZ extending 200 nautical miles from its coastline. Within our EEZ, Australia has sovereign rights to explore and exploit, conserve and manage the living (e.g. fisheries and genetic material) and non-living (e.g. oil, gas, minerals) natural resources. It also has jurisdiction over offshore installations, marine scientific research and the protection and preservation of the marine environment.
The AFZ, which was first declared in 1979, is exactly the same area as the EEZ but relates only to the use or protection of fisheries, whereas the EEZ relates to all types of resources in the zone (e.g. fish, oil, gas, minerals, etc.). Also, under the EEZ regime, where the edge of the continental shelf of Australia extends beyond 200 nautical miles, Australia has the right to explore and exploit the non-living resources as well as sedentary fisheries species in this area.
The area of the AFZ is over 8 million square kilometres and the length of Australia's coastline (not counting the offshore island territories) is slightly less than 37,000 kilometres.
Geoscience Australia has further information about the Australian maritime zones.
Australian Fishing Zone
Map Courtesy of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, 2008
23 May 2011