What is the Area?

The Area
The seabed in the regions shaded dark blue constitute the Area. The Area lays completely beyond national jurisdictions of individual countries.
By B1mbo [CC BY-SA 3.0 cl} via Wikimedia Commons
The seabed in international waters (lying beyond the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of individual countries) is known as the Area.  Coastal nations can monopolize economic activity within their EEZs, which usually extend 200 nautical miles beyond national shores.  EEZs can reach beyond 200 nautical miles when a coastal geological formation continues uninterrupted; they can also be confined to less than 200 miles when coastal national lie in close proximity to each other.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is solely responsible for regulating seabed mining in the Area.  But UNCLOS also requires state parties to govern any seabed mining within their EEZ with national regulations that conform to the environmental standards mandated by the treaty.