Economics of the Oceans: Rights, rents and resources studies the economic uses of ocean resources, rights to exploit them, and the division of surpluses (or economic rents) between the users and the “owners” of ocean space. But who owns the oceans? The answer is that within agreed exclusive economic zones coastal states have sovereign rights where national laws apply; beyond, lies the two-thirds of the oceans called the “high seas”, where loose and often ineffective international public law applies.