Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Great 2009 Sea Grab

Economist Map of New Continental Sea Floor Claims

Countries trying to claim continental sea floors is not new. It has been becoming more common though. Better technology allows use to explore and exploit vast natural resources that were once unknown and inaccessible. A recent surge in continental sea floor claims has just concluded because of the ten year deadline set by the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Countries must prove their claim by showing how it is connected via continental shelf if they wish to be granted sole access to the resources below. Some countries like France, Spain, and the United Kingdom have filed joint claims and will share resource access. Others like Russia and the other Arctic countries will continue to bicker over the North Pole. Some old disputes are about to be reborn: Argentina has claimed the sea surrounding the Falkland Islands. Last time that argument got hot a war broke out.

The United States has not rush to claim any additional continental sea floor because it has not ratified the treaty.


Anonymous said...

Have you seen the film "Proteus" about the German scientist Ernst Haeckel? I recently posted something on my blog in connection with his work on radiolarians and also the Challenger expedition that charted the oceans in the 19th century.

Mary said...

One would think we could all get together and realize that at the rate we use resources, and with the damage we do extracting them, we could just leave the stuff under the sea alone for a long time yet.

Or maybe I'm an idealist.