Tanzania seeks to extend exclusive economic zone Lands, Housing and Human Settlements minister Prof Anna Tibaijuka speaks at press briefing in Dar es Salaam yesterday on planned request by Tanzania to the United Nations for extension of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone. (Photo: Omar Fungo) Tanzania will tomorrow present a special write-up to the United Nations requesting extension of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a procedure allowed under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Prof Anna Tibaijuka said the area named Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) extends 150 miles beyond the 200 miles of EEZ. Prof Tibaijuka said that the government has decided to claim the area because it is of strategic economic interest to the country as it may contain resources such as oil, gas and other minerals. "The country is claiming the area of the sea to enable it to fully utilise any resources in it which can contribute to boosting its economy for the benefit of the present and future generations," said Prof Tibaijuka. According to the Minister the Extended Continental Shelf means an extra 150 miles from the current 200 miles of the EEZ. "If a country wants to claim the ECS it is supposed to apply to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by preparing and submitting a scientific research paper to the UNCLOS Commission to show the legality of possessing the area," Prof Tibaijuka said. Prof Tibaijuka said her ministry in collaboration with various experts from different sectors conducted the research from 2007 and compiled the requisite information at a cost of over 5.2bn/- to meet the submission deadline which was set for this year. She further said that the EEZ includes the islands of Pemba, Unguja, Mafia, Songosongo, Songomnara and Msimbati (Mtwara). The work incorporated experts from Norway, United Kingdom and Germany and was financed by the government of Tanzania and Norway. According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea all countries that border the ocean are allowed to use the 200 miles into the ocean for exclusive economic purposes without interference from other countries. In case there are two countries that are using the same economic area in the ocean the Law of the Sea clearly states procedures of dividing the area for the use by the two countries. Tanzania shares its EEZ with Seychelles in the South East. Prof Tibaijuka also said that Tanzania has no conflict with any country over marine boundaries saying: "We have agreed with Kenya on our boundaries and even signed an agreement in June 2009. The exercise was done with all other countries with which Tanzania shares borders. Tanzania ratified the agreements on the International Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1985. According to Section 76 of the law, the country was among those given the opportunity to present their requests and to claim an extension of the area inside the ocean after the 200 miles of the EEZ. The convention notes the basic rights of each country on the usage of the ocean. It is well known that the area used freely by each respective country has its boundaries from the country's mainland towards the ocean.