If you are fishing in the ocean off the United States Coast. At what distance from shore do US fishing laws no longer apply?

The US Coast Guard listes, boundaries at 12, 24 and 200 Miles.

Maritime limits and boundaries for the United States are measured from the official U.S. baseline, recognized as the low-water line along the coast as marked on the NOAA nautical charts in accordance with the articles of the Law of the Sea. The Office of Coast Survey depicts on its nautical charts the territorial sea (12 nautical miles), contiguous zone (24nm), and exclusive economic zone (200nm, plus maritime boundaries with adjacent/opposite countries).

I think one of them applies to fishing, but I am not sure.

  • 1
    Commercial or sport fishing? And, to mess up your options, the Oregon rules for commercial salmon fisheries include the note "To the extent not preempted by Federal law, these regulations apply within the State of Oregon’s Fisheries Conservation Zone (out to fifty miles from shore)."
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 19:16
  • 1
    It will depend on if you are an American and have an American flagged boat. If that's the case, they never stop. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 20:15
  • 1
    @whatsisname that sounds like something you should expand into an answer. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 21:37
  • I think this would be a better question if you would limit it to foreign vessels.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


200 nautical mile.

This link seems to be the most clear.

An Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is a concept adopted at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1982), whereby a coastal State assumes jurisdiction over the exploration and exploitation of marine resources in its adjacent section of the continental shelf, taken to be a band extending 200 miles from the shore.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.