Falklands : UK Submits Claims to Seabed in South Atlantic and Antarctic
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 11.05.2009 (Article Archived on 25.05.2009)
On 11 May 2009, the UK has, for the fourth time, made a submission in respect of its extended continental shelf.
UK SUBMITS TO THE UN ON EXTENDING THE CONTINENTAL SHELF AROUND THE FALKLAND ISLANDS, SOUTH GEORGIA AND THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
By J. Brock (FINN)
On 11 May 2009, the UK has, for the fourth time, made its submission in respect of its extended continental shelf. This time the submission is for the continental shelf around the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The UK submission was made to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. This body will consider the data presented by the UK, with a view to determining the extent of the UK continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in that area. The UK’s submission is in accordance with the provisions of Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
Lord Malloch-Brown, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said “Successful completion of this process will confirm the boundaries of the UK’s jurisdiction over its continental shelf, thus ensuring our sovereign rights to manage the shelf for future generations.”
Previously the UK submitted in respect of the continental shelf in the Bay of Biscay (jointly with France, Ireland and Spain), in respect of the shelf around Ascension Island, and in respect of the Hatton Rockall area of the NE Atlantic.
The UK also notified the Commission in May 2008 that data had not been submitted in respect of the continental shelf of the British Antarctic Territory, but that reserves the right to do so in the future. The UK remains fully committed to the Antarctic Treaty and its indefinite prohibition on commercial minerals exploitation.
The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf now has well over thirty national submissions before it. It has the global task to issue recommendations which, ultimately, will determine the extent to which national sovereign rights apply on the continental shelf, and the boundary between those areas and the areas where the International Seabed Authority has jurisdiction.