Is the ocean "owned" by anyone?

5 replies
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This is a pretty weird question but it arose earlier when I began to think about laws and governments in other parts of the world.

So, is the ocean "owned" by anyone? If that isn't the proper term, oh well, but you get what I'm saying.

I think it's an interesting question and I would like to see what others have to say
#ocean #owned
  • Profile picture of the author Riggs
    Not sure about ownership laws, but a Naval fleet could pose a problem if you're looking to start claiming Sponge Bob real estate.
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
      Originally Posted by Riggs View Post

      Not sure about ownership laws, but a Naval fleet could pose a problem if you're looking to start claiming Sponge Bob real estate.
      Good answer. I do understand how naval bases and governments can get involved, especially if near land. But let's just say you were to take up "real estate" persay, in the middle of the ocean (atlantic or pacific). Would any "1" territory have ownership/federal jurisdiction of that real estate?

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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Gehr
    According to international law, each country surrounded by, or bordered by the sea, owns the first 12 miles of ocean.

    After that 12 miles, the ocean belongs to the international community. However, I believe that most countries also have the commercial rights of up to 200 miles for fishing etc.

    In my personal opinion as a surfer, the ocean belongs to the fish, the wind, the tides, the waves, and the creator.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I haven't heard of Poseiden going anywhere else. He might not take kindly to new claims.

    If you are asking for reasons of treasure hunting - you are in deep water no matter where you find a ship any more. There's a few governments that get real testy if you find something of extreme value and they will give you hell and a half even if that ship is in international water. One country in particular thinks it should have claims to ships found off our waters - loaded with treasure being stolen from America and Mexico. They want the ship and the stolen treasure, LMAO.

    Deep Blue Marine got into a hissy fit over a ship in international waters with that country. They actually had their military board the ship and take control of it. Quite a lawsuit on that one.

    So, even while nobody really owns all of the ocean (except Poseidon) there are countries that will take grabs if someone finds something that they want to claim for their own.

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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    I was going to say much the same as peter. They generally only own a PORTION, and they have some regulations for a portion past that, even if they aren't exactly THEIR waters. Past that, it is pretty much FAIR GAME, but there are STLL international laws you must abide by. If you don't, the country affected by you that is closest, or an international body may intervene. I don't think it has ever come to THAT though.

    But smuglers have used this to avoid many things, and ships may get to a certain point and allow people to gamble and drink, if such things were prohibited on land. Also, stuff can be sold tax free. If a pirate comes to rob you, etc... I think you can contact people based on their citizenship, your citizenship, the boat owners registration, or the boat's registry. Usually the boat owner handles that stuff.

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