Canada’s Extended Continental Shelf
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides that all coastal states have a continental shelf extending 200 nautical miles from coastal baselines or beyond 200 nautical miles if the shelf is a natural prolongation of its land territory. The Convention also recognizes that coastal states have sovereign rights over the natural resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf as well as jurisdiction over certain activities like marine scientific research. The continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles is colloquially known as the “extended or outer continental shelf”. An estimated 85 countries, including Canada, are thought to have an extended continental shelf.
Canada is working to define the outer limits of its continental shelf in both the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans and is collaborating with neighbouring states in the scientific, technical and legal work needed to do so.
- 2015-07-24 - News Release - Canada Launches Scientific Survey Toward Submission for Extended Arctic Continental Shelf
- 2014-08-08 - News Release - Harper Government Launches First of Two Scientific Surveys to Complete Canada’s Arctic Continental Shelf Submission
- 2013-12-09 - News Release - Canada Marks Major Milestone in Defining Its Continental Shelf
- 2013-12-09 - Speech - Address by Minister Baird to Media Concerning Canada’s Continental Shelf Submissions
- 2013-12-09 - Media Advisory - Canada Filed Continental Shelf Submission for Atlantic Ocean, Continues Work to Define Arctic Continental Shelf
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