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The Outer Continental Shelf In The Arctic Ocean: Legal Framework And Recent Developments

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the international legal framework regarding continental margin areas beyond 200 nautical miles in the Arctic Ocean adjacent to five states - Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway, Russia and the United States. It provides a brief overview of the international law of the sea framework that deals with this aspect of the continental margin area and then turns to the activities of states adjacent to the central Arctic Ocean. The nature of coastal state rights over the continental shelf is 'sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources'. Four of the five Arctic Ocean Basin states (Canada, Denmark, Russia and the United States) are undertaking challenging scientific work and expending significant resources to understand the ocean floor of the central Arctic Ocean. The role of the Commission regarding overlapping claims is minimal, as it is not imbued with authority to deal with such areas.

Keywords: Arctic Ocean; Canada; Denmark/Greenland; Norway; Outer Continental Shelf; Russia; United States



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