Exclusive economic zone of Australia

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Australia's exclusive economic zones, including its Antarctic claim

Australia's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) was declared on 1 August 1994 and extends from 12 to 200 nautical miles (22 to 370 km) from the coastline of Australia and its external territories, except where a maritime delimitation agreement exists with another state.[1][2] To the 12 nautical-mile boundary is Australia's territorial waters. Australia has the third-largest exclusive economic zone, behind the United States and France but ahead of Russia, with the total area of 8,148,250 square kilometres (3,146,060 sq mi), which exceeds its land territory.

The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) confirmed, in April 2008, Australia's rights over an additional 2.5 million square kilometres (970,000 sq mi) of seabed beyond the limits of Australia's EEZ.[3][4] Australia also claimed, in its submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, additional Continental Shelf past its EEZ from the Australian Antarctic Territory,[5] but these claims were deferred on Australia's request. However, Australia's EEZ from its Antarctic Territory is approximately 2 million square kilometres (770,000 sq mi).[4]

Maritime boundary[edit]

North of Australia is an extensive maritime boundary with Indonesia, Papua New Guinea as well as the small island nations of East Timor, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

It starts in the Indian Ocean, then runs through the Timor Sea, Arafura Sea, Torres Strait and ends in the Coral Sea.

There is also a maritime border between Australia and Indonesia in the Indian Ocean between Australia's external territory of Christmas Island and the Indonesian island of Java.


Region EEZ Area (km2)
Australia Mainland Australia,  Tasmania, and other minor islands[note 1] 6,048,681
Tasmania Macquarie Island 471,837
 Christmas Island 325,021
 Norfolk Island 428,618
 Heard Island and McDonald Islands 410,722
 Cocos Islands 463,371
 Australian Antarctic Territory 2,000,000[note 2]
Total 8,148,250[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Including the Ashmore and Cartier Islands and the Coral Sea Islands.
  2. ^ The reference gives an approximate figure of 2 million square kilometres for the EEZ claimed by Australia as part of its Antarctic Territory. This is in addition to the 8 million square kilometre total given in the reference. This EEZ is also distinct from the 2.56 million square kilometres of additional continental shelf mentioned in the reference.


  1. ^ The Australian Fishing Zone
  2. ^ Geoscience Australia. 2005. Maritime Boundary Definitions Archived 2005-04-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ UN confirms Australia’s rights over extra 2.5 million square kilometres of seabed. Archived 2009-10-25 at the Wayback Machine Minister for Resources and Energy, The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, Media Release, 21 April 2008."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c Geoscience Australia, 2012. Education: Oceans and Seas
  5. ^ Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, Submission by Australia

External links[edit]