United Nations Treaty on the Law of

The Sea (1982)

  • Its purpose is to establish a comprehensive set of rules governing the oceans and to replace previous U.N. Conventions on the Law of the Sea, one in 1958 (UNCLOS I) and another in 1960 (UNCLOS II), that were believed to be inadequate.


  • Requires parties to the treaty to adopt regulations and laws to control pollution of the marine environment.


  • The treaty also establishes specific jurisdictional limits on the ocean area that countries may claim, including a 12-mile territorial sea limit and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone limit.

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