St Kitts & Nevis announces maritime boundary agreement with The Netherlands
(25 November 2014)
The government of St Kitts & Nevis has announced the conclusion of an agreement with The Netherlands delimiting a maritime boundary between St Kitts & Nevis and the Dutch island of Sint Eustatius.
McClean Hobson, the Director of Maritime and Civil Aviation Affairs for St Kitts & Nevis, explained that the agreement was initialled by negotiators in September and was the result of four years of training and collaborative work supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat. The lack of a defined boundary had led to frequent fishing disputes, and Hobson said that St Kitts and Nevis hoped that the delimitation would lay the foundations for an agreement with the Netherlands allowing fishers from both countries to fish in each other's waters.
The agreement still has to be ratified by the relevant legislative authorities and the full text of the agreement has yet to be made public. However, an illustrative map of the boundary released to media agencies indicates that the delimitation was based on equidistance between the coasts of St Kitts and Sint Eustatius.
The staff training that resulted in the maritime boundary will build regional capacity for similar boundary negotiations, Hobson added. He indicated that St Kitts & Nevis would also be approaching the governments of Antigua & Barbuda, France (with regard to St Barthélemy), the United Kingdom (with regard to Montserrat) and Venezuela to discuss maritime boundary delimitation.
'Maritime Boundary To Ease Fishing Incidents In Statia Channel', St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, 14 November 2014 (http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/2014/11/14/statia-channel.html)
St Kitts and St Eustatius Reach Agreement on Maritime Boundary, The Caribbean Journal, 11 November 2014 (http://www.caribjournal.com/2014/11/11/st-kitts-and-st-eustatius-reach-agreement-on-maritime-boundary/#)
St. Kitts and St. Eustatius maritime boundary issue settled, SKN Vibes, 11 November 2014 (http://www.sknvibes.com/news/newsdetails.cfm/89591)