The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard

FAQ & Links

  • What is meant by "territorial sea"?

    The territorial zone or the territorial waters are the waters stretching from an established base line to a determined distance in which a country can define its own laws and can administrate justice. According to the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea, the maximum size of a territoral zone is 12 nautical miles (approximately 22 kilometers), measured from the low tide mark. This is also the case in Belgium.

    Note: this does not give Belgium the right to deny vessels access to its territorial waters since the right of innocent passage is still applicable. Vessels can sail through Belgium's territorial waters, but are to respect certain stipulations defined by the coastal state, such as the prohibition on oil spillage or the prohibition on fishing without a permit.

    Read more on the working area of the coast guard.

  • What is the Belgian Continental Shelf?

    The law of 13 June 1969 defines “Belgian Continental Shelf” as follows: the seabed and the subsoil of the marine areas adjacent to the Belgian coast but beyond the Belgian territorial sea.

  • What is the EEZ or Exclusive Economic Zone?

    The Exlusive Economic Zone borders the territorial waters. The EEZ consists out of the waters above the seabed, the seabed itself and the foundation. Within the EEZ a coastal state has the right to execute certain activities such as scientific research, the production of energy (e.g. windmill parks), fishery, construction of artificial islands, …

    For the North Sea, the various coastal states have established the demarcation of their Exclusive Economic Zones in a treaty. Belgium's EEZ consists out of that part of the North Sea, whose outer border is defined by a line, consisting out of segments and which connects the following coordinates in the order as stipulated beneath:

    1. 51°16'09" N02°23'25" O

    2. 51°33'28" N 02°14'18" O

    3. 51°36'47" N 02°15'12" O

    4. 51°48'18" N 02°28'54" O

    5. 51°52'34,012" N 02°32'21,599" O

    6. 51°33'06" N 03°04'53" O

    Read more on the working area of the Coast Guard.

  • Where can I find the windmill parks in the Belgian North Sea? How far away are they from the coast?


    C-Power's windmill park (the first to be built on the Belgian part of the North Sea) can be found on the Thornton bench, approximately 30 kilometers off the coast of Ostend.

    Belwind's windmill park is situated 46 kilometers off the coast of Zeebrugge, on the Bligh bench.

    The windmills of Northwind are built on the Lodewijk bench (previously Bank zonder naam) 37 kilometers off the coast of Ostend.