Kenner, LA asked in Admiralty / Maritime and Gov & Administrative Law for Louisiana

Q: Can I get a definition and a map of inland waters of the state of Louisiana?

My charter boat insurance policy limits state: Navigation Limits Inland waters of AL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC & TX.

And I frequently fish the coast and need to know if my policy covers me while fishing the coast or nearshore oil platforms.

2 Lawyer Answers

A: 46 CFR section 10.107 provides: Inland waters means the navigable waters of the United States shoreward of the Boundary Lines as described in part 7 of this chapter, excluding the Great Lakes, and, for towing vessels, excluding the Western Rivers.

Part 7 provides the following definition for the inland waters of the Gulf at 46 CFR section 7.105:

§ 7.105 Marquesas Keys, FL to Rio Grande, TX.

A line drawn from Marquesas Keys, Florida at approximate position latitude 24°47.5′ N, longitude 82°11.2′ W; along the 12-mile line which marks the seaward limits of the territorial sea (as defined in 33 CFR 2.22(a)(1)) to Rio Grande, Texas at approximate position latitude 25°58.6′ N, longitude 96°55.5′ W.

The seaward limits of the territorial sea (i.e. US waters) is defined in 33 CFR 2.22(a)(1) as: "Territorial sea means the waters, 12 nautical miles wide, adjacent to the coast of the United States and seaward of the territorial sea baseline."

The territorial sea baseline is defined as: Territorial sea baseline means the line defining the shoreward extent of the territorial sea of the United States drawn according to the principles, as recognized by the United States, of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, 15 U.S.T. 1606, and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 21 I.L.M. 1261. Normally, the territorial sea baseline is the mean low water line along the coast of the United States. 33 CFR 33.220

This website sells nautical charts of such waters:

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Maritime Law Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: You could ask your insurance agent to outline geographic boundaries of your coverage, or to provide the laws by which their underwriting department defines your coverage. However, even if they respond on that, they are not likely to identify specific offshore oil platforms that you would be in-bounds or out-of-bounds with. Good luck

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