JACKSON, Mississippi — Since July 2013, Mississippi has claimed its state waters extend nine miles south into the Gulf of Mexico.
The federal government refuses to recognize the declaration, standing by a 1960 U.S. Supreme Court decision that determined the offshore boundary for Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama was three miles out.
The federal government also has not recognized Louisiana’s 2011 declaration of a nine-mile limit.
At stake is Gulf states’ control of lucrative fishing rights and revenue from oil and gas production in near-offshore waters.
Mississippi’s congressional delegation has been seeking to force federal recognition of the nine-mile limit for recreational fisheries management. Republican Sen. Thad Cochran proposed an amendment that would do so through a wide-ranging bill that focuses on hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation policy.