Norway documents continental shelf off Bouvet Island and Dronning Maud Land
Norway has now submitted documentation on the extent of the continental shelf off Bouvet Island and Dronning Maud Land to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), which is based in New York.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre commented: “This forms the basis for important clarifications as part of the implementation of the Law of the Sea.”
The purpose of the documentation submitted is to determine the boundary between the Norwegian continental shelf and the deep ocean floor, which constitutes the international seabed area. Now all the documentation on the Norwegian continental shelf beyond 200 miles has 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.
CLCS 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.
Many states are currently submitting documentation as a deadline expires on 13 May this year. It will therefore take some time before the Commission can make its recommendations on the continental shelf off Bouvet Island. There are particular considerations that apply to Dronning Maud Land in the Antarctic.
“We attach great importance to the Antarctic cooperation, and have therefore requested the Commission not to consider the documentation relating to Dronning Maud Land. The documentation in respect of Bouvet Island has been submitted for consideration in accordance with normal procedures” added Støre.