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The Disputed Maritime Zones Around Svalbard

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Chapter Summary

Before the First World War the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard was a terra nullius. By virtue of its sovereignty, Norway is entitled to establish the full range of maritime zones in respect of Svalbard. It has established a 12-mile territorial sea and a 200-mile fishery protection zone (rather than an Exclusive Economic Zone) around Svalbard. The maritime areas around Svalbard attract increasing international Attention. Norwegian sovereign rights on the continental shelf and in the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are, however, disputed. This chapter provides an overview of the Svalbard Treaty and the maritime zones around Svalbard. It then discusses in more detail the views presented by different States parties on the application of the Svalbard Treaty on the continental shelf and in the 200-mile zone, and then put forward some possible solutions to these legal issues.

Keywords: Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); First World War; maritime zones; Norway; Svalbard



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