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Oceans Act (S.C. 1996, c. 31)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2019-11-19 and last amended on 2019-07-30. Previous Versions

PART ICanada’s Maritime Zones (continued)

Exclusive Economic Zone

Marginal note:Exclusive economic zone of Canada

  •  (1) The exclusive economic zone of Canada consists of an area of the sea beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea of Canada that has as its inner limit the outer limit of the territorial sea of Canada and as its outer limit

    • (a) subject to paragraph (b), the line every point of which is at a distance of 200 nautical miles from the nearest point of the baselines of the territorial sea of Canada; or

    • (b) in respect of a portion of the exclusive economic zone of Canada for which geographical coordinates of points have been prescribed pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(iii), lines determined from the geographical coordinates of points so prescribed.

  • Marginal note:Determination of the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone of Canada

    (2) For greater certainty, paragraph (1)(a) applies regardless of whether regulations are made pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(iv) prescribing geographical coordinates of points from which the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone of Canada may be determined.

Marginal note:Sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Canada

 Canada has

  • (a) sovereign rights in the exclusive economic zone of Canada for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the exclusive economic zone of Canada, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds;

  • (b) jurisdiction in the exclusive economic zone of Canada with regard to

    • (i) the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures,

    • (ii) marine scientific research, and

    • (iii) the protection and preservation of the marine environment; and

  • (c) other rights and duties in the exclusive economic zone of Canada provided for under international law.

Marginal note:Rights of Her Majesty

  •  (1) For greater certainty, any rights of Canada in the seabed and subsoil of the exclusive economic zone of Canada and their resources are vested in Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (2) Nothing in this section abrogates or derogates from any legal right or interest held before February 4, 1991.

Marginal note:Fishing zones of Canada

 The fishing zones of Canada consist of areas of the sea adjacent to the coast of Canada that are prescribed in the regulations.

Continental Shelf

Marginal note:Continental shelf of Canada

  •  (1) The continental shelf of Canada is the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas, including those of the exclusive economic zone of Canada, that extend beyond the territorial sea of Canada throughout the natural prolongation of the land territory of Canada

    • (a) subject to paragraphs (b) and (c), to the outer edge of the continental margin, determined in the manner under international law that results in the maximum extent of the continental shelf of Canada, the continental margin being the submerged prolongation of the land mass of Canada consisting of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise, but not including the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or its subsoil;

    • (b) to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines of the territorial sea of Canada where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance; or

    • (c) in respect of a portion of the continental shelf of Canada for which geographical coordinates of points have been prescribed pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(iii), to lines determined from the geographical coordinates of points so prescribed.

  • Marginal note:Determination of the outer limit of the continental shelf of Canada

    (2) For greater certainty, paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) apply regardless of whether regulations are made pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(iv) prescribing geographical coordinates of points from which the outer edge of the continental margin or other outer limit of the continental shelf of Canada may be determined.

  • 1996, c. 31, s. 17
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 137(E)

Marginal note:Sovereign rights of Canada

 Canada has sovereign rights over the continental shelf of Canada for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting the mineral and other non-living natural resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf of Canada, together with living organisms belonging to sedentary species, that is to say, organisms that, at the harvestable stage, either are immobile on or under the seabed of the continental shelf of Canada or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or the subsoil of the continental shelf of Canada.

Marginal note:Rights of Her Majesty

  •  (1) For greater certainty, any rights of Canada in the continental shelf of Canada are vested in Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (2) Nothing in this section abrogates or derogates from any legal right or interest held before February 4, 1991.

Marginal note:Application of federal laws — continental shelf installations

  •  (1) Subject to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(j) or (k), federal laws apply

    • (a) on or under any marine installation or structure from the time it is attached or anchored to the continental shelf of Canada in connection with the exploration of that shelf or the exploitation of its mineral or other non-living resources until the marine installation or structure is removed from the waters above the continental shelf of Canada;

    • (b) on or under any artificial island constructed, erected or placed on the continental shelf of Canada; and

    • (c) within such safety zone surrounding any marine installation or structure or artificial island referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) as is determined by or pursuant to the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), federal laws shall be applied

    • (a) as if the places referred to in that subsection formed part of the territory of Canada;

    • (b) notwithstanding that by their terms their application is limited to Canada; and

    • (c) in a manner that is consistent with the rights and freedoms of other states under international law and, in particular, with the rights and freedoms of other states in relation to navigation and overflight.

Marginal note:Application of provincial law

  •  (1) Subject to this section and to any other Act of Parliament, the laws of a province apply to the same extent as federal laws apply pursuant to section 20 in any area of the sea

    • (a) that forms part of the exclusive economic zone of Canada or is above the continental shelf of Canada;

    • (b) that is not within any province; and

    • (c) that is prescribed by the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) Subject to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(d), subsection (1) does not apply in respect of any provision of a law of a province that

    • (a) imposes a tax or royalty; or

    • (b) relates to mineral or other non-living natural resources.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (3) For the purposes of this section, the laws of a province shall be applied as if the area of the sea in which those laws apply under this section were within the territory of that province.

  • Marginal note:Sums due to province

    (4) Any sum due under a law of a province that applies in an area of the sea under this section belongs to Her Majesty in right of the province.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (5) For greater certainty, this section shall not be interpreted as providing a basis for any claim, by or on behalf of a province, in respect of any interest in or legislative jurisdiction over any area of the sea in which a law of a province applies under this section or the living or non-living resources of that area, or as limiting the application of any federal laws.

Court Jurisdiction

Marginal note:Jurisdiction extended

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (4) and to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(h), a court that would have jurisdiction in respect of any matter had the matter arisen in a province has jurisdiction in respect of any such matter involving a federal law that applies pursuant to this Act to the extent that the matter arises in whole or in part in any area of the sea that is not within any province and

    • (a) that area of the sea is nearer to the coast of that province than to the coast of any other province; or

    • (b) that province is prescribed by the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Jurisdiction extended — provincial laws

    (2) Subject to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(h), a court that would have jurisdiction in respect of any matter had the matter arisen in a province has jurisdiction in respect of any such matter involving a law of the province that applies pursuant to this Act to the extent that the matter arises in whole or in part in any area of the sea to which the law of that province applies pursuant to this Act.

  • Marginal note:Orders and powers

    (3) A court referred to in subsection (1) or (2) may make any order or exercise any power it considers necessary in respect of any matter referred to in that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Criminal offences

    (4) The jurisdiction and powers of courts with respect to offences under any federal law are determined pursuant to sections 477.3, 481.1 and 481.2 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (5) Nothing in this section limits the jurisdiction that a court may exercise apart from this Act.

  • Marginal note:Definition of court

    (6) In this section, court includes a judge of a court and a justice of the peace.

 
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