Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Redefining Marine Territories in a Changing World

From a purely territorial perspective, these are bullish times for the world's oceans.

As anthropogenic climate change picks up pace, seas around the world are rising, due to thermal expansion and the melting of alpine glaciers and arctic ice sheets; according to most scientists, by at least a meter by the year 2100.
As a result, low-lying coastal areas around the world, and in several cases entire island nations, are expected to be reclaimed by the sea. Global sea level rise complicates the resolution of questions that have presented geopolitical difficulties for centuries: who owns the sea, and how much of it do they own? According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), concluded in 1982, countries have exclusive control over their seabed materials out to the extent of their continental shelf (but with a minimum of 200, and maximum of 350, Nautical miles from their coastline). In addition, they have broader control over marine resources (including, crucially, fishing stocks) in an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending 200 nautical miles from the low-water mark on their coastlines. More >>>

Location: Cayman Islands