Exclusive economic zone of the United Kingdom

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The exclusive economic zones of the United Kingdom in blue, including the British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies. The British claim in Antarctica is shown in shaded blue.[1]

The United Kingdom's exclusive economic zone is the fifth largest in the world at 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi).[2] It comprises the exclusive economic zones surrounding the United Kingdom,[3] the Crown Dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories. The figure does not include the EEZ of the British Antarctic Territory.

The UK was late to establish an EEZ, relying on overlapping maritime zones for fisheries, pollution control, and energy matters. The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 gave the powers to establish an EEZ, with the zone defined by The Exclusive Economic Zone Order 2013 which came into force on 31 March 2014.[4][5]

The United Kingdom has not claimed an EEZ extending from Gibraltar or Akrotiri and Dhekelia.


While the outcrop of Rockall has territorial waters, it does not establish an EEZ by itself, instead falling within the EEZ of the rest of the UK.

The United Kingdom's EEZ in Europe is 773,676 km2 (298,718 sq mi). When including all crown dependencies and overseas territories it is 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi).[2]

Areas of EEZs of the UK, crown dependencies and overseas territories[2]
Territory km2 sq mi Notes
United Kingdom 773,676 298,718 includes Rockall and the Isle of Man
Anguilla 92,178 35,590
Ascension Island 441,658 170,525
Bermuda 450,370 173,890
British Indian Ocean Territory 638,568 246,552 disputed with Mauritius
British Virgin Islands 80,117 30,933
Cayman Islands 119,137 45,999
Channel Islands 11,658 4,501
Falkland Islands 550,872 212,693 disputed with Argentina
Gibraltar 426 164 disputed with Spain
Montserrat 7,582 2,927
Pitcairn Island 836,108 322,823
Saint Helena 444,916 171,783
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 1,449,532 559,667 disputed with Argentina
Tristan da Cunha archipelago† 754,720 291,400
Turks and Caicos Islands 154,068 59,486
Total 6,805,586 2,627,651

†Part of the overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, which together has an EEZ of 1,641,294 square km.


The exclusive economic zones associated with the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are disputed by Argentina. The EEZ of the Chagos Archipelago, also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory, is disputed by Mauritius, which considers the archipelago as a part of its territory. Gibraltar is disputed by Spain. Since the approval of Brexit in 2020 there have been disputes with the European Union about fishing rights in UK's territorial waters. The area around the uninhabitable island Rockall is also disputed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 10 Downing Street. "Countries within a country". Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Sea Around Us – Fisheries, Ecosystems and Biodiversity". Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  3. ^ "The Exclusive Economic Zone Order 2013" http://www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  4. ^ Gibson, J. (January 2009). "The United Kingdom's elusive exclusive economic zone". Journal of Water Law. 20 (4). Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  5. ^ "The Exclusive Economic Zone Order 2013". legislation.gov.uk. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2018.