About the extended continental shelf off Bouvet Island

Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute/Norwegian Petroleum Directorate

Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute/Norwegian Petroleum Directorate

The purpose of Friday’s presentation, and the documentation submitted last year, is to determine the boundary between the Norwegian continental shelf and the deep ocean floor, which constitutes the international seabed area. All documentation on the Norwegian continental shelf beyond 200 miles has now been submitted in accordance with our international obligations. The responsibility for management of the resources on and in the continental shelf lies with the coastal state in question.

The entire Bouvet Island, with territorial waters, is a nature reserve. There are no plans to start explorations on the continental shelf off Bouvet Island.

The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf will consider the documentation on the continental shelf beyond 200 miles off Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean, and advise Norway as to where the outer limit of the continental shelf should be drawn. Norway can then establish the outer limit on the basis of this recommendation with final and binding effect.

The Commission is not expected to make its recommendations on the continental shelf off Bouvet Island for some years.

The documents that were submitted to the Commission on May 4, 2009, also cover Dronning Maud Land. However, due to the special legal and political status of Antarctica, Norway has requested that the Commission not take any action with regard to the information that relates to the continental shelf appurtenant to Donning Maud Land.

Click here to read the full Executive Summary: Continental Shelf Submission of Norway in respect of Bouvetøya and Dronning Maud Land.

Click here for background information about the continental shelf.

Source: Norway’s Mission to the United Nations

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