San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



Hawaii is the only state in the United Stats that consists solely of islands. These islands are unique among the states in climate and life style, and they present unique problems to those who would define their jurisdiction over the adjacent ocean areas. The eight main inhabited Hawaiian islands are entitled to territorial seas, contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones, and continental shelves, which are measured in the same way that similar zones are delineated outward from continental land territories. To the northwest of these main islands is a chain of smaller insular outcroppings that are a wildlife preserve for sea birds, monk seals, green turtles, and other unique species. Some of these formations may not be entitled to an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) according to article 121 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention).