An archipelago has been defined as a formation of two or more islands (islets or rocks) which geographically, socially, politically and economically may be considered as a whole. Outlying archipelagos are groups of islands situated out in the ocean at such a distance from the coast or firm land as to be considered complete in themselves, an independent whole rather than forming a part of an outer coastline of the mainland. The United States has long been of the view that until there is international agreement the three mile territorial sea is established international law, and the unilateral acts of states claiming territorial seas of greater breadth are in conflict with the accepted principle of freedom of the sea.
Michael A. Leversen,
The Problems of Delimitations of Base Lines for Outlying Archipelagos,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol9/iss3/13