Mozambique is a coastal country located in southeast Africa, with a significant maritime domain. This article examines the maritime legal framework of Mozambique, its exclusive economic zone, its high seas, and its international law obligations under the Law of the Sea. It also discusses the maritime security challenges facing the country.
Mozambique’s Maritime Legal Framework
Mozambique has adopted the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which provides the legal framework for the use and management of its maritime domain. Mozambique is also a party to international maritime conventions, including the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships, and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention).
Mozambique also has a national maritime legal framework, which includes the Maritime Law of 2004, the Fisheries Law of 2005, and the Ports and Waters Law of 2010. These laws provide the legal framework for the management of Mozambique’s maritime domain and for the protection of its marine resources.
Mozambique has also adopted the Protocol to the Fisheries Law, which establishes the exclusive right of the Mozambican state over fisheries resources and establishes a licensing system for fishing activities. This Protocol also provides for the protection of the marine environment and for the conservation of living marine resources.
Mozambique’s Coastal Waters
Mozambique’s coastal waters are divided into two categories: territorial seas and internal waters. The territorial seas extend for 12 nautical miles from the baselines used to establish the land boundary of Mozambique, and are subject to the full sovereignty of Mozambique. The internal waters are those areas of the sea enclosed by the land boundary of the country, and are also subject to the full sovereignty of Mozambique.
Mozambique has the right to regulate activities within its territorial seas and internal waters, including the right to declare them to be no-go zones or to impose restrictions on activities such as fishing or navigation.
Mozambique’s Exclusive Economic Zone
Mozambique’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extends from the 12 nautical mile limit of the territorial sea to 200 nautical miles from the baselines used to establish the land boundary of Mozambique. Within the EEZ, Mozambique has the exclusive right to exploit, conserve and manage the living and non-living resources.
Mozambique also has the right to regulate activities such as fishing and navigation within its EEZ, and to protect the marine environment from pollution.
Mozambique’s High Seas
The high seas are those areas of the ocean that are beyond the limits of any nation’s EEZ. As a coastal state, Mozambique has the right to exercise certain rights and duties on the high seas, such as the right to pursue and apprehend vessels suspected of engaging in illegal activities. Mozambique also has the right to cooperate with other states to prevent and suppress illegal activities on the high seas.
Mozambique’s International Law Obligations
As a party to UNCLOS, Mozambique has certain international law obligations relating to its maritime domain, such as the obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment and to prevent and eliminate pollution of the seas. Mozambique is also obligated to cooperate with other states to ensure the safety and security of navigation and the protection of the marine environment.
Mozambique is also a party to several regional and international maritime conventions, such as the IMO’s Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships and the SUA Convention. These conventions establish international legal standards for the protection of the marine environment and for the safety and security of navigation.
Mozambique’s Maritime Security Challenges
Mozambique faces several maritime security challenges, including illegal fishing, piracy and armed robbery at sea, and drug and human trafficking. The country has adopted a number of measures to address these challenges, including strengthening its maritime security and law enforcement capabilities and increasing its international cooperation.
Mozambique’s maritime domain is subject to the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and several regional and international maritime conventions. The country has adopted a number of legal and policy measures to protect and manage its maritime domain, and to ensure the safety and security of navigation and the protection of the marine environment. However, Mozambique still faces a number of maritime security challenges, which require further efforts to address.