Macau (MNA) – The first reading of a local maritime law, focusing on the management of the territorial waters of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR), has been approved in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
During the plenary, the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Sonia Chen Hoi Fan, stressed the need to focus on environmental protection in the surrounding areas, as well as formulate long and medium-term plans for developing the area according to established guidelines.
Lin Dexue, the director of the Legal Affairs Bureau, said the priority would be to draft a bill on maritime use and also one of the borders along Macau’s coastline.
Prior to this, there had been no established Maritime Law for the waters surrounding Macau.
The central government had granted Macau sovereignty over an 85-square-kilometre stretch off the coast in late 2015.
On January 5, 2016, three co-operation agreements were signed between the Macau SAR government, Zhuhai and the Mainland to cover issues related to transportation, traffic, water resources, maritime development and maritime management.
Under the new law, the land parcel connection the Gongbei checkpoint and Zhuhai falls under local authorities, as well as part of Canal dos Patos, a waterway separating the Mainland from the north of Macau.
The administrative maritime region stretches from the waterway from the west Macau’s inner harbour, along the coasts of Taipa and Coloane before turning eastwards to cover a large portion of the sea.