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territorial waters

The band of sea between the limit of the internal waters of a state and the high seas, over which the state has certain specified rights. These rights are governed by a 1958 Geneva Convention, which is taken to represent the position under customary international law. New rules are proposed in a 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is not yet in force. A coastal state exercises sovereignty over its territorial waters, which includes, in particular, the following. (1) An exclusive right to fish and to exploit the resources of the seabed and subsoil of the seabed and exclusive use of the airspace above the territorial sea. (2) The exclusive right to use the territorial waters to transport people and goods from one part of the state to another. (3) The right to enact laws concerning navigation, immigration, customs dues, and health, which bind all foreign ships.

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