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Italian marines’ case verdict may not hit India’s fishing rights by Murali Krishnan July 06,2020   |  Source: HT

The ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (tribunal) at the Hague in the Italian marines case will not affect India’s rights in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for fishing, exploration of gas and so on, former additional solicitor general (ASG) PS Narasimha, who headed India’s legal team during the initial stages of the case before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, said.

The EEZ is a sea zone prescribed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and extends upto 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the coastline of the country. UNCLOS is an international agreement that defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with regard to their conduct and use of world seas and oceans and management of marine natural resources. As per Article 56 of UNCLOS, every country has sovereign rights within the EEZ including the right to exploit natural resources, living or non-living.

The shooting of Indian fishermen in 2012 happened within the Indian EEZ. Despite that, the arbitral tribunal came to the conclusion that Italy had not violated India’s sovereign rights.

But the tribunal’s observations should be seen in the context of the specific incident of Enrica Lexie, an Italian oil tanker, wherein it held that a vessel


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