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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

New Faroese continental shelf submission

(15 December 2010)

Map showing area covered by Faroese continental shelf submission

On 2 December 2010 the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark and the Government of the Faroes made a submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) concerning the outer limit of the continental shelf to the south of the Faroe Islands. A submission concerning the continental shelf to the north of the islands was made in April 2009.

The new area defined as Faroese continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines around the islands covers approximately 608,000 square kilometres of and extends 820 nautical miles south of the Faroe Islands, overlapping significantly with areas which are also the subject of submissions to the CLCS by Ireland and the UK. In their submission the governments of Denmark and the Faroes consented to all three submissions being considered by the CLCS, as long as they are considered simultaneously. It is anticipated that Iceland will also make a submission to the CLCS which overlaps with the Faroese, British and Irish submissions. The Faroese submission noted that Iceland had not made any submission concerning the area in question within the ten-year time period allowed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea, but Iceland is likely to argue that a partial submission it made to the CLCS in April 2009 (concerning the Ægir Basin area and the western and southern parts of Reykjanes Ridge) 'stopped the clock' and made it possible for Iceland to make further partial submissions in future. In its submission The Kingdom of Denmark reaffirmed its commitment to continue quadrilateral talks between the parties with a view to reaching an agreement.

The executive summary of the recent Danish/Faroese submission is available from the CLCS website.