The special problem of identifying the juridical nature of coastal indentations is but one aspect of a more fundamental problem: the need to accommodate the legitimate exclusive interests of coastal states in maximizing wealth, power, and national security with the inclusive interests of the community of states in maximizing freedom of the seas. Throughout historical cycles of mares liberum and clausum, this fundamental accommodation has remained the central focus of the international law of the sea. Even today, after thoroughgoing codification efforts in 1958 and 1982: the legal regime of the oceans remains in transition.
Gayl S. Westerman, The Juridical Status of the Gulf of Taranto: A Brief Reply, 11 Syracuse J. Int’l L. & Com. 297 (1984), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/232/.