Maritime jurisdiction and boundaries in the Arctic region
In August 2007 Russian scientists sent a submarine to the Arctic Ocean seabed at 90° North to gather data in support of Russia's claim that the North Pole is part of the Russian continental shelf. The expedition provoked a hostile reaction from other Arctic littoral states and prompted media speculation that Russia's action might trigger a "new Cold War" over the resources of the Arctic.
While there are a number of disagreements over maritime jurisdiction in the Arctic region - and potential for more as states define the areas in which they have exclusive rights over the resources of the continental shelf more than 200 nautical miles from their coastal baselines - so far all of the Arctic states have followed the rules and procedures for establishing seabed jurisdiction set out in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. To date, only Russia and Norway have made submissions to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf, but Canada, Denmark and the USA are also likely to define their continental shelf limits over the next few years.
In response to numerous enquiries relating to maritime jurisdiction in the Arctic, IBRU has prepared a map and a set of briefing notes on the current state of play in the region. The map identifies known claims and agreed boundaries, plus potential areas that might be claimed in the future. Comments and questions concerning the map should be sent to email@example.com - but please read the briefing notes carefully first.