Geopolitical Atlas of the Oceans, D. Ortolland, J.-P. Pirat - Editions Technip

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Editorial director: Thierry Verret

Geopolitical Atlas of the Oceans The Law of the Sea, Issues of Delimitation, Maritime Transport and Security, International Straits, Seabed Resources Coordination: Didier Ortolland Maps: Jean-Pierre Pirat Foreword: Jean-Pierre Lévy Contributors: Jean-Marie Auzende, Anne Choquet, Gwenaëlle Le Gurun, Daniel Silvestre Editorial coordination: Sarah Funel

The first edition of this book was awarded a prize by the Société de Géographie in 2009.


Éditions TECHNIP 5 avenue de la République, 75011 PARIS, FRANCE

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O C E AN 269

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O C E AN 41

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from the same publisher

•  Our energy future is not set in stone How can the demand for oil and gas in 2035 be met? p. charlez •  The shale oil and gas debate p. charlez •  After the US Shale Gas Revolution t. bros •  The Geopolitics of Energy j.-p. favennec •  L’Afrique : nouvelle frontière de la croissance b. rahmouni benhida

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Printed and bound in August 2017 by Printworks Global Ltd., London & Hong Kong. © Éditions Technip, Paris, 2017. ISBN : 978-2-7108-1164-0

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Table of Contents

Contributors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Part 1 – LAW OF THE SEA Chapter 1.  Maritime Areas (Didier Ortolland) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 2.  Delimitation of Maritime Spaces (Didier Ortolland) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 3.  The Extension of the Continental Shelf (Didier Ortolland) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 4.  Archipelagic Waters (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 15 31 45

Part 2 – THE OCEANS: SPACES OF CONFLICT OR COOPERATION? Chapter 5.  The Atlantic Ocean (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 6.  The Baltic Sea (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 7.  The Mediterranean and the Black Sea (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 8.  The Caspian Sea (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 9.  The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 10.  The Indian Ocean (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 11.  The Red Sea (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 12.  The Persian Gulf (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 13.  The Pacific Ocean (Didier Ortolland) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

51 89 95 119 127 145 163 169 179

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Part 3 – POLAR AREAS Chapter 14.  The Arctic Ocean (Didier Ortolland). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Chapter 15.  The Antarctic (Anne Choquet) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 Part 4 – TRANSPORT AND MARITIME SECURITY Chapter 16.  Straits and International Canals (Didier Ortolland) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 Chapter 17.  Maritime Transport (Didier Ortolland) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273 Chapter 18.  Maritime Piracy (Daniel Silvestre) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287 Part 5 – EXPLOITATION OF THE SEABED AND UNDERWATER CULTURAL HERITAGE Chapter 19.  Mineral Resources and the International Seabed Area (Gwenaëlle Le Gurun). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297 Chapter 20.  Underwater Hydrothermalism (Jean-Marie Auzende) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 Chapter 21.  Protecting Underwater Cultural Heritage (Gwenaëlle Le Gurun). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 Annex (Jean-Pierre Pirat) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Selected Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glossary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Selected Measures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Jean-Marie AUZENDE: Doctor es sciences, accomplished his career at IFREMER (French Institute for marine Research and Exploration) working mainly on plate tectonics and direct studies of mid oceanic ridge and transform fault. Anne CHOQUET: Doctor of Law, permanent research-lecturer at Brest Business School. Participant to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting as part of the French delegation. Gwenaëlle LE GURUN: Doctor of Law (Nantes University), legal officer at the International Seabed Authority since 2002. She is the author of numerous articles on Law of the Sea and underwater cultural heritage. Didier ORTOLLAND: French diplomat, has been assigned in embassies in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Europe. Has also worked in the Legal Department of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry. Jean-Pierre PIRAT: Engineer-cartographer, trained in the Institut Géographique National for which he carried out numerous geodetic missions in France, Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic), Saudi Arabia, French Guiana, Islands in the Lesser Antilles, Vanuatu and St. Helena Island (UK). Daniel SILVESTRE: Senior civil servant of the Ministries with responsability with the Sea where he has followed the issues regarding Law of the Sea, maritime fisheries, protection of marine environment, maritime security and safety.

Caution: The authors have sole responsibility for the content of this publication.

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It is generally believed that the term “geopolitics” was coined at the turn of the twentieth century.1 However, its application to ocean affairs only became relevant when the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982 (hereinafter “the Convention”) allowed coastal states to exercise their sovereignty and jurisdiction over vast areas of ocean space and their resources. Indeed, the legal framework established by the Convention created a direct and very substantive link between coastal states’ geography and their ocean policies. In ancient times, and over past centuries, national maritime interests and the corresponding governmental responsibilities were limited. The latter mainly concerned strategic and military issues, as well as commercial activities associated with transportation, fishing and low-mining extraction. It is on the basis of these sectorial activities that the legal rules gradually developed. Accordingly, it is customary in the West to recall that the Law of the Sea has its origins in maritime activities existing in Europe and the Middle East, especially in the intensive flows of trade occurring in the Mediterranean since ancient times. As illustrated by Professor Anand, “it is ... widely accepted that modern law of the sea, like other rules of international law, is a product of the European or Western Christian civilizations to which extra-European, especially Asian and African countries, have made little or no contribution.”2

However, this Eurocentrism, as posited by the majority of authors, applies only to the development of a generally recognized law of the sea and ignores the numerous initiatives taken mostly at the national level to regulate maritime activities. For a number of African and particularly Asian empires, the sea was a major issue and the uses of the oceans became the subject of broad legal regulations. Looking back to ancient times the Indian emperor Chandragupta Maurya, who reigned between 321 and 298 BC, had created a Ministry of War with six divisions, one of which was devoted to the navy. “The Kings of the Maurya Dynasty created the role of superintendent of the navy. This person was responsible for regulating transport and trade by sea, for fishing and mining, and was responsible for developing the collection of rules and practices to govern the use of the sea throughout the ancient world.”3 Under the reign of Ashoka (273– 222 BC), India enjoyed maritime relations with many regional powers, and a number of legal writings contain detailed provisions concerning maritime trade and ports. Similarly, China regulated the use of its maritime fleets very early on because, apart from specific periods of its history where shipping had been restricted or even prohibited in some cases, Chinese sailors traveled throughout the Asian seas. Su Jilan of the Oceanographic Institute of Hangzhou mentioned that “Oceangoing trips by Chinese people were seriously attempted already in the third century. They reached Ceylon by the end of the fourth century and landed in Irak in the fifth

1. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica it was Rudolf Kjellén (1864–1922), a Swedish political scientist and conservative member of the Swedish parliament, who coined the term “geopolitics.” 2. R. P. Anand. Origin and Development of the Law of the Sea, History of International Law Revisited. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1983.

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3. C. W. Pinto. “Les nouveaux principes du droit de la mer.” ImpactUnesco no 314 (1983).

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century.”4 Indeed the early use of the magnetic compass and improvements in the design of the stern-mounted rudder helped Chinese seafarers in launching long-distance expeditions.5 In Asia, between the seventh and tenth centuries AD all of the major regional powers of the era included a maritime dimension in their policies. However, between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, mostly Arab traders dominated these waters. Leaving the east coast of Africa, these navigators took advantage of the monsoon winds that blew alternately from west to east in the summer and from east to west in the winter, enabling them to undertake a round-trip from Africa to Asia over the course of a year. From the end of the fifteenth century on appeared a new type of maritime endeavors linked to the great wave of European colonization which wove the backdrop for the overseas ambitions of great powers at the time. These colonial objectives became manifest over the oceans for decades to come. It was in this context of discoveries of new shipping routes, colonization and economic and political ambitions that state practices and doctrinal controversies (e.g., Grotius versus Selden) laid the ground for what would at last become an international law of the sea.6 Thus, as early as the late 1700s, two of its fundamental principles started to be accepted—namely, coastal state sovereignty over waters adjacent to its shores and freedom of the high seas. And it is this latter history that is now traditionally referred to by most authors. All of these developments, which took place between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries, were consistent with the “maritime policies” pursued by the colonial powers of the time. However in light of their limited sectorial objectives, they cannot be seen to constitute the basis of genuine “geopolitics” in the modern sense of the term.

ocean policies.7 Therefore in its current understanding, the concept of maritime geopolitics involves a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to ocean affairs, which actually only began to effectively develop after the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1973–1982). Indeed, for the first time in the history of the Law of the Sea, a diplomatic conference was mandated to regulate all aspects of the use of the oceans and their resources.8 This objective led governments to adopt a multidisciplinary approach and to consider maritime issues in an integrated manner. But above all, complex and protracted negotiations on extensions of sovereignty and jurisdiction compelled states to shift their attention to the geographical nature of their territories and the configuration of their coasts. The establishment of the breadth of the territorial sea at 12 nautical miles (nm) and of the exclusive economic zone at 200 nm meant that the configuration and length of the maritime facades of coastal states would have a direct impact on the extent of their sovereignty and jurisdiction. In addition, new definitions of the continental shelf would enable many countries to exercise sovereign rights over the resources of vast underwater areas. The concept of “maritime geopolitics” would then acquire its full relevance. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, “maritime geopolitics” is at the heart of countries’ political concerns, in the sense that it fits into the context of a number of new paradigms. These include not only critical changes in the field of international relations but also, specifically, the ecological challenge our planet is facing, whose impact can be scarcely measured.

The use of the term “geopolitics” in connection with ocean affairs includes a certain number of multi-­sectorial components, linking a state’s geography directly to its

It is only quite recently that governments and their constituents started paying attention to environmental issues, in particular the multiple consequences of global warming. In addition to significant modifications to coastal layouts, the rise in sea levels would bring about the massive displacement of tens of millions of people and a profound alteration to our food sources.

4. Communication dated 25 November 1997 to the Independent World Commission on the Oceans by Su Jilan, Second institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310012, China.

Aside from these direct consequences of global warming, there are additional major problems affecting the marine environment: depletion of fish stocks, various types of pollution, possible consequences of the development of new resources from the seabed and

5. Generally speaking, and despite some well-known exceptions during its long history (e.g., Zheng He’s expeditions in the early fifteenth century), China was more concerned with the dangers of recurring land invasions than with maritime expansion. 6. All previous codifications in the West, from the Lex Rhodia that inspired the Roman Empire to the “Rolls of Oléron” promulgated by Eleanor of Aquitaine at the end of the twelfth century, were very limited in scope and in regional coverage and cannot be considered as international law of the sea.

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7. The Webster’s Dictionary defines “geopolitics” as the study of how geography and economics have an influence on politics and on the relations between nations. 8. The first and second United Nations conferences on the Law of the Sea in 1958 and 1960 only addressed quite specific, limited issues.

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illicit transportation of weapons, drugs and migrants, not to mention modern piracy and terrorism. Facing these risks and their impacts, it is essential to recall that the sea is fundamental to human survival and that all agents involved, at their respective level of responsibility, should mobilize in a concerted and permanent effort in order to safeguard our planet. They have a duty to pursue the implementation of        “maritime policies” aimed at generalizing a rational and effective management of the ocean, and such an objective can only be achieved through the adoption of a genuine “global ocean governance.” Although the term “governance” has been used for a long time, its application to the oceans is also very recent. It is only over the course of the last decades that it has acquired its current meaning, and this fact clearly illustrates the development of an increased awareness of maritime issues and the risks incurred. There has been a significant evolution at the level of policymakers regarding the need for “ocean governance,” and this has been achieved despite the lack of an internationally recognized definition.9 It is gratifying to note that our leaders have finally agreed to take into account the absolute necessity to preserve our planet, including its maritime component. An illustration of this new appreciation can be found, both at national and international levels, in recent initiatives, such as those aimed at limiting the warming of our planet10 and the preparation of an agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.11 It is hoped that such initiatives will be successful despite the difficulties encountered. While efforts made in recent decades revealed a fair degree of cooperation at the international level, or even in some cases a step toward the harmonization of national policies, it seems impossible with the current

9. “There is no internationally recognized definition of ʻinternational ocean governance.’ The term ‘ocean governance’ includes rules, institutions, processes, agreements, arrangements and activities carried out to manage the use of the oceans and seas in an international context.” European Commission, Maritime Affairs, Policy, maritimeaffairs_f isheries/consultations/ocean-governance/doc/ consultation-document_en.pdf, 16 October 2015. 10. See the Paris Agreement adopted on 12 December 2015 by the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21), held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. (Document FCCC/CP/2015/L9/Rev.1) and its follow-up. 11. The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 69/292 of 19 June 2015 decided to develop “an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.” See: Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea,

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state of relations between nations to achieve the level of convergence that would allow the adoption of this requisite governance of the oceans. Under these circumstances, and in the absence of such governance, the extension of sovereignty and jurisdiction of coastal states under the provisions of the Convention increases the scope of national responsibilities and prioritizes the establishment of secure and generally recognized maritime boundaries. In many cases, this approach requires drawing up delimitation agreements between neighboring countries or resorting to judicial procedures in case of conflicts. But the texts reflecting the limits established, whether unilaterally, through negotiations or judicial decisions, often result in arduous reading. Only an atlas could make them come alive and talk. Nevertheless, maps alone would not fully render the complexity of these questions. Issues of maritime limits and delimitations must be framed within their international context in order to satisfy the readers’ urge to understand current problems and deep-rooted reasons behind various regional clashes. This is the great achievement of Didier Ortolland, and all credit must go to him and to the editors of this book, who have dealt with one of the most difficult and political of topics pertaining to the law of the sea—that of limits in the seas and maritime delimitations—in an integrated framework that responds to the holistic approach that we are too often happy to preach about without making an effort of implementation. In accordance with this approach, Didier, who was not only the coordinator of this atlas but its major author, surrounded himself with knowledgeable specialists in the few areas he did not cover. In particular the outstanding work of Jean-Pierre Pirat should be recognized: through his cartography, he has brought to life these often intricate legal texts and has assembled a unique and superb collection of maps. As to the other contributors, as I have had the privilege of working directly with them or following closely their work, I am glad to recognize their competence. They have all demonstrated a high-level of professionalism and have shed light on this maritime fresco, allowing us to appreciate its complexity and depth. There is no doubt that this publication fills a gap in the extensive literature dealing with ocean affairs and the law of the sea. In addition, it serves as a timely reminder that the organization and efficient management of maritime areas require us to embrace the spirit that presided over the preparation of this book and to adopt a multidisciplinary and integrated approach.

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This atlas has already been released in two French language editions which have enjoyed notable success. The first edition was awarded the Eugène Potron Prize by the Société de Géographie in 2009. The time elapsed since the publication of these French editions largely confirmed the reality of the new challenges facing us. There is no need to recall them here, as the issues have been clearly identified and are the subject of increased national and international scrutiny. This is particularly the case with recurrent national claims over some ocean areas, especially if they are potentially resource-rich areas. Marine geopolitics remains a prominent subject and can be found at the center of strategic concerns put forward by members of the international community. Despite the alarming observations that one is tempted to make in light of the risks and potential dangers revealed by this atlas, we do allow ourselves to hope that in the long term,

the ever-increasing pressures on our seas and oceans and a greater understanding of the need for international solidarity will compel the international community to adopt, despite all the political, economic or social obstacles, an effective governance of the oceans. In pursuing such a long-term objective, the present publication undoubtedly constitutes an unparalleled contribution. For the first time an English atlas brings together graphic illustrations and assessments of issues relating to states’ maritime sovereignty and jurisdiction. Thus a careful examination of the maps made in the light of the substantive chapters provides an unprecedented and essential background to understand states’ policies. This Geopolitical Atlas of the Oceans is a unique tool at the disposal of the reader, including researchers, diplomats and policymakers who are anxious to understand the complexity of modern geopolitics.

Jean-Pierre Lévy Ph. D. Former Director of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (United Nations), Executive Secretary of the Independent World Commission on the Oceans (Mario Soares), Expert on the Law of the Sea attached to the Legal Office of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Conflicts are lurking in maps before they burst into the open light of day. This is especially true in the maritime field. The data is, however, special. It might be geographical data about coastlines, the presence of islands or rocks; or economic data relating to actual or assumed resources, including the seabed; or it could be legal data pertaining to the rules laid down by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (hereinafter “the Convention”) and, in particular, the case law developed over recent years for maritime delimitations. The Law of the Sea allows coastal states of the seas and oceans to exercise sovereign rights and jurisdiction over maritime areas extending up to 200 nautical miles (nm) (370 km) off their coastlines. Sovereign rights relate to the exploitation and exploration of the seabed, subsoil and living or non-living resources. Jurisdiction allows the coastal state to ensure the protection and preservation of the marine environment. The enshrinement by the Convention of the concept of exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which was adopted at Montego Bay in 1982, has resulted in tens of millions of square kilometers coming under the jurisdiction of coastal states and unwittingly becoming the source of many disputes. A second phase of appropriation of maritime spaces by coastal states is now underway, due to the possibility of extending the continental shelf beyond the outer limit of 200 nm if certain geomorphological criteria are met. The date of May 13, 2009, went without being noticed. However it was the day fixed for countries to file and submit records to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), which is responsible for making recommendations and accepting, amending or rejecting claims made by coastal states. That day saw an avalanche of claims, some of which overlap each other and are therefore likely to generate conflicts.

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The sea remains more than ever a source of wealth. Fishery resources are essential for the survival and development of many populations. Year in and year out, offshore represents approximately 30% of global oil production, while gas is becoming increasingly important for the energy balance of nations. Recent discoveries off the coast of Western Australia, Mozambique, and even in the eastern Mediterranean all underscore the potential of offshore gas. Finally, possibilities for deep water mineral resource exploitation—whether for polymetallic nodules, cobalt-rich crusts, or polymetallic sulphides—are becoming clearer, despite seeming relatively remote just a few years ago. Moreover, at 80% of the volume of international trade, maritime transport remains the backbone of globalization. It has not stopped growing in recent years, reaching ten billion tonnes in 2015, compared with six billion tonnes in 2000. Container ships have become one of the symbols of globalization: the volume of goods transported by container has increased fivefold since 1990, which is an average annual growth of about 10%. Under these circumstances, the respect for freedom of navigation through some passages, notably international straits, is becoming increasingly important. Some apparently frozen maritime disputes nevertheless remain worrying. This is the case with Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea, a dispute that is based on different interpretations of the Law of the Sea set against a background of historic rivalry. The circumstances are quite similar in the disputes between Colombia and Venezuela, and the situation remains confused in some parts of the Gulf, the waters of which are particularly rich in oil and gas. Asia offers a range of maritime conflicts that are still making the headlines. They result from the unresolved

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sequelae of World War II, which are aggravated by sensitive issues of remembrance for both governments and populations; however, they are to be considered within the particular context of the rise of China and its growing assertiveness. It is appropriate in this context to distinguish the relatively traditional disputes between China and Japan in the East China Sea and the Senkaku islands from those between Beijing and the five countries bordering the South China Sea. These are in fact more worrying, because they question adherence to certain important provisions of the Law of the Sea. Some disputed claims that presented risks for regional or international stability have been overcome. This is the case, for example, with the northern part of the Caspian Sea: Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan found a solution to delimit the seabed and subsoil of this atypical maritime area. The problem subsists, however, for the water column. Recourse to arbitration has also developed. The International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the arbitral tribunals have, since the beginning of the century, facilitated

the settlement of several maritime disputes. It is true that the jurisprudence that has developed now provides relative legal certainty to states. Until the early 1990s, the methods used in the event of recourse to arbitration for the delimitation of the continental shelf and EEZs were very diverse and introduced a certain level of uncertainty. The delimitations of the continental shelf beyond 200 nm remain relatively marginal, but are growing: in July 2004, Australia and New Zealand conducted the longest delimitation in this regard in the Tasman Sea. Uncertainties do remain, however, particularly when a geomorphological continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm from the coast of a country, but penetrates the EEZ of another country that is opposite them, and which geological continental shelf is less than 200 nm. In 2014, this was the topic of the arbitration requested by Nicaragua in the International Court of Justice to resolve this new issue against Colombia. It is also one of the subjects of dispute between China and Japan in the East China Sea. Didier Ortolland

Observations relating to the maps The mapping of maritime spaces is a new exercise and assumes important documentary research. States must give notice of agreements concluded to delimit their maritime spaces to the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) of the United Nations, but some abstain from doing it, while others wait before doing so. The delimi­ tations of the Caspian are not included because this totally enclosed maritime space is not dealt with by the Convention. The Law of the Sea Bulletin, which publishes countries’ notes verbales to the secretary-general of the United Nations, is also a valuable source on the position of states regarding disputes that are not always addressed publicly. The representation of the continental shelf beyond 200 nm is also difficult. It comes down to distinguishing between the different submissions filed by the states, represented on our maps by yellow outlines containing hatching. In this instance, it relates to claims that have not yet been endorsed by the CLCS, as well as those made in the “preliminary informations,” which are represented in the same way with a dashed yellow line. On the other hand, the “recommendations” of the CLCS, which we have represented with green outlines containing hatching, are final. Maritime transport statistics come from the 2016 Review of Maritime Transport by UNCTAD, from the website of the US Department of Energy, as well as from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016. Offshore oil and gas production data come mainly from the latter source.

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1 Law of the Sea

Chapter 1

Maritime Areas

The Inter Coetera papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI, in May 1493, rectified by the June 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, is generally held to be the first example of appropriation of maritime areas by states. The appropriation was total but only theoretical given that Spain and Portugal shared the world out between themselves without knowing the extent nor the other populations and countries it contained. The delimitation line was set at 370 leagues to the west of the islands of Cape Verde near the current meridian 46° west. Lisbon received the lands and the seas situated to the east of this line, and Madrid the lands and seas to the west. The existence of Brazil, the Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa and Spanish-speaking Latin America stretching from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego are a direct result of the Treaty of Tordesillas. The appropriation of the seas by the Iberian powers was, however, more difficult to enforce and the gold and spice shipping routes would not remain the private preserve of fleets from Madrid and Lisbon for long, as convoys from the New World fell victim to piracy and commerce raiding carried out mainly by England and France. In addition, other European countries with Atlantic coasts started to develop their own maritime commerce, creating outposts or colonies, the development and security of which was dependent upon controlling shipping routes. The countries of Europe did not abide by the Treaty of Tordesillas. In 1580 the Spanish ambassador complained to Elizabeth I about the activities of the English pirate Drake, who had destroyed the Spanish fleet off the coast of Peru; her response was: “The use of the sea and air is common to all; neither can any title to the ocean belong to any people or private man, for as much as neither nature nor regard of the public use permitteth any possession thereof.” After the expedition of the invincible Armada failed in 1588, the irrevocable decline of the Hispano-Portuguese

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naval power was in full swing, and England and the Netherlands fought for control of the Atlantic. Indeed, the Netherlands became a significant commercial power flooding the colonies—particularly the English ones— with contraband products, contrary to the charters of the colonial companies, which reserved the monopoly of importing goods for the colonizing country. It was the Dutchman Huig de Groot—who went down in history under the Latin name of Grotius—who went on to develop the principle of the freedom of the seas in his work De Jure Praede on maritime prize and booty, which came out in 1609, a chapter of which, “Mare liberum,” developed the principle of the freedom of the seas. In it, he stated that “every nation should have open channels of communication with any other nation and free commerce with them.” In particular, he believed that something that cannot be occupied cannot be owned as ownership is born of occupation. This theory was developed to ward off the Portuguese claims to Southeast Asia, which referred to the papal bull in an attempt to prevent the Dutch East India Company (VOC) from trading in spices. The prosperity of the United Provinces was also dependent upon herring fishing in the North Sea almost as far as the coast of Scotland, which is why John Selden, at the request of the British monarchy, composed a doctrine refuting Grotius’s freedom of the seas to keep Dutch fishing vessels far from the coasts of the British Isles. In his work Mare clausum, written in 1618 and published in 1635, Selden states that the sea may be appropriated, and that “the King of Great Britain is Lord of the seas flowing about the Kingdom.” In his opinion, the “British seas” included the Channel, the North Sea and reached down to the Spanish coast.1

1. On John Selden and circumstances surrounding the writing of Mare clausum, see T. Brook. Mr Selden’s Map of China. The Spice Trade, a Lost Chart & the South China Sea. London: Profile Books Ltd, 2013.

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Maritime Areas

Cromwell’s Navigation Act, adopted in 1651, preventing any foreign ship from transporting any goods to England other than goods coming from their own country also aimed to stamp out Dutch competition and to ensure British dominance of the seas. Following the Anglo– Dutch wars of the seventeenth century, the United Provinces gradually accepted to dip their flags in salute of British ships (Treaties of Westminster of 1654 and 1674). In the treaty of 1674 they accept this flag salute symbolizing British sovereignty of the seas from Cape Finisterre in Spain (Galicia) up to a latitude of 62.5° north. Attempts to exercise such a far-reaching sovereignty over the seas and oceans, counter to the rights of other nations, were progressively reduced to cover only the territorial sea justified for security reasons. It is, however, surprising to draw parallels between the arguments put forward by Selden and those raised today by China to justify appropriating the South China Sea, almost four centuries later. The principles developed by Grotius were put in place with a few changes. It was already accepted in his time that countries could exercise control over certain maritime areas such as straits, bays or coastal areas within sight or canon range. The waters of bays and estuaries are therefore “internal waters” and are placed under the sovereignty of the coastal state which, since the eighteenth century, has also been able to exercise sovereignty over an area of adjacent sea known as the “territorial sea.” At the time, the limit of this territorial sea was set by the maximum range of a canon, considered to be three nautical miles.2 Developments in hydrocarbon prospecting techniques in increasingly deep areas of the continental shelf and the development of the industrial fishing industry have contributed to progressively eroding the freedom of the seas and oceans. These developments, along with the development of maritime transport, also highlighted the need to protect the marine environment. In 1942, the United Kingdom, on behalf of Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela shared an area rich in hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Paria situated beyond the limits of their respective territorial sea, which at the time were just 3 nm. It was the United States, however, that gave the signal for the appropriation of the oceans with the Truman proclamation of September 28, 1945. In this proclamation, the president of the United States stated that “since the continental shelf may be regarded as an extension of the land-mass of the coastal nation and thus naturally appurtenant to it” and declared that “the United States regards the natural resources of

2. One nautical mile, expressed as “nm” in the rest of the text = 1,852 meters.

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the subsoil and seabed of the continental shelf beneath the high seas but contiguous to the coasts of the United States as appertaining to the United States, [and are] subject to its jurisdiction and control.” Naturally, this statement was inspired by the hydrocarbon deposits in the Gulf of Mexico located beyond the outer limit of the country’s territorial sea. Extending jurisdiction to the continental shelf guaranteed the coastal state appropriation of the resources of the subsoil situated offshore, but ignored the water column over the shelf which remained part of the high seas, and therefore accessible to all countries, which were free to make use of its resources. The initiative to extend jurisdiction over zones within 200 nm of their coastlines was taken by developing countries, in particular Chile and Peru, in a proclamation in 1947, which were joined by Ecuador with the Santiago Declaration of August 1952. This was in order to protect the fishing resources off their shores from the fishing fleets of industrialized countries and to reserve use of these fishing resources for the coastal country alone. This measure was widely condemned at the time, but since then has progressively spread and been applied to other oceans. In 1963, Iceland, deeming its stocks to be under threat from the activities of fishing boats from other European countries, created an exclusive fishing zone of 50 nm around its coastline to prevent foreign ships, particularly British ones, from approaching them. The numerous incidents between fishermen and the navies of the two countries have gone down in history as the “Cod Wars.”

The Development of the Law of the Sea The capacity of the coastal country to exercise control over a strip of sea adjacent to its territory has always been acknowledged as a right. However, the nature and extent of this right had not been fully codified.

The first United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1958) Organized in Geneva in 1958, it led to the definition of four conventions: the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone; the Convention on the High Seas; the Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas and the Convention on the Continental Shelf. These measures laid the foundations of the Law of the Sea that would go on to be further development by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (hereafter “the Convention”), also referred to as the Montego Bay Convention.

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2 The Oceans: Spaces of

Conflict or Cooperation?

Chapter 5

The Atlantic Ocean

For a long time, the Atlantic Ocean was an annex to the civilizing sea that was the Mediterranean. Herodotus believed that the Egyptians had sailed around Africa and crossed the South Atlantic around 600 years before our era, and the Phoenicians and Carthaginians supposedly sailed as far as the Gulf of Guinea. It has also been proven that the Vikings crossed the North Atlantic in the tenth century, but it was not until Christopher Columbus officially discovered America that the “western sea” became a proper maritime area and not just a coastline used for coastal navigation. At that time, it reverted to the name the Greeks gave it: The Atlantic. Very quickly, a number of explorers crossed the Atlantic and, not long afterwards, in 1498 Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut in India. From then onwards, maritime routes multiplied, the colonies created in the two Americas and the trade links developed between Europe, America and Asia via the Cape put the Atlantic at the center of the world economy. Ruling the ocean became a challenge and an asset; first it was ruled by Portugal, then by Spain and then Britain took the lead having eliminated the Dutch competition and confined France to the continent. Britain quickly came to see the advantage of increasing its maritime power in the Atlantic; the explorer Walter Raleigh, the founder of Virginia, said that “whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.” The philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon (1561– 1626) made the pithy addition that: “To be master of the sea is an abridgement of the monarchy.” Today, it is the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies that rule the waves. Emerging powers such as Brazil and South Africa aspire to developing their maritime capabilities, but do not yet have high seas fleets.

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The Atlantic area is relatively simple: it extends to the north and south, connecting with the Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic waters; it narrows at the center between Dakar and the coast of Brazil, which are only 3,000 km apart; and in the extreme north between Norway and Greenland, which are separated by a mere 1,500 km. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a long scar that marks the separation between Europe and Africa and the Americas: the shape of the coastline of South America and the Gulf of Guinea are a reminder of this ancient kinship. This ridge created few islands, with the exception of Iceland and the Azores in the north, and isolated islands in the South Atlantic (Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha). The most northerly reaches of the North Atlantic fall under the jurisdiction of a number of coastal states due to the presence of several islands and archipelagos (the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland), while the South Atlantic does not have many islands and a far greater extent of high seas. The Atlantic’s wealth was originally due to fishing, with very rich marine living resources, quickly spurring European fishermen towards the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, for example.1 Today the coasts of Namibia, which benefit from the cold Benguela Current, are also highly prized by the fishing industry. The subsoil is rich in resources but it is not equally distributed; this was first seen in the 1950s and 1960s along the coast of Africa when oil deposits were discovered off the coasts of Congo, Gabon and Nigeria. Angola, whose production began in the 1980s, is now the second-largest producer of oil in Africa thanks to its offshore

1. Basque fishermen founded Red Bay settlement around 1540, almost opposite L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, where the first Viking settlement in North America has been identified. Another settlement has been identified in Newfoundland at Point Rosee in 2016.

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The Atlantic Ocean

deposits, and on the American coastline, Brazil is expected to become a leading oil producer following the discovery of significant deposits off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in 2007. The North Atlantic is less rich in such resources; only Canada has significant oil deposits in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin on the Grand Banks as well as gas around Sable Island. While on the European side there is next to nothing, if we view the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea as separate maritime areas. The only hydrocarbon deposits located to the north of the Dakar– Brazil line are off the coast of Mauritania2 (in small quantities) and in the waters of the Norwegian Sea.

province of New Brunswick had already been addressed in the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war between the two countries in December 1814. With the majority of the islands attributed to Canada, the maritime boundary was set by the Treaty of Passamaquoddy in 1910. The treaty established a thirtheen-kilometer-long line stretching from the mouth of the Saint Croix River to the middle of the channel separating the coast from Grand Manan Island in the entrance to the Bay of Fundy. Although this mostly concerned internal waters, setting such a long maritime boundary was quite unusual at the time.

If we exclude the Caribbean Sea (which is the subject of another chapter), the Atlantic is not especially difficult to delimit, particularly as the American coastline appertains to a limited number of states with a large surface area. The process of delimitation has been concluded in South America but seems to have come to a halt in North America, as there is still a minor dispute between the United States and Canada regarding Machias Seal Island, whereas the dispute between France and Canada seems to hinge on the issue of extending the continental shelf. On the European side the process has almost been finished and the African states have also made significant progress in delimitation. There is a risk, however, that the process of extending the continental shelf will lead to an increased number of disputes.

Boundaries in the Gulf of Maine

The North Atlantic The American coastline The coast around the United States—in New England— and particularly in Canada has a vast continental margin which gives access to an exceptional abundance of fish stocks. This pushed the coastal states to delimit their waters quite early on, including France which holds the archipelago of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon south of Newfoundland. They resorted to arbitration twice.

The maritime border between the United States and Canada Passamaquoddy Bay The Saint Croix River—which marks the border between the two countries—flows out into Passamaquoddy Bay, which is dotted with islands of differing sizes. The issue of setting boundaries between the territories belonging to the state of Maine and the

2. Deposits were recently located off the coasts of Sierra Leone, Senegal and Mauritania.

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The status quo remained until the 1960s when the two countries became actively interested in the potential resources of the continental shelf in Georges Bank, which is also a very important area for fishing. Washington and Ottawa introduced fishing zones of 200 nm in 1976 and 1977 respectively and indicated what they felt should be the limits of their respective jurisdictions in the Gulf of Maine area. Canada felt that equidistance should be applied and drew an initial line encompassing all the features of the coastline; then in 1978 it presented a second equidistance line located further to the west which eliminated the effects of Nantucket Island and Cape Cod, which were considered excessive. Whereas the United States felt that the north-east channel separating Georges Bank and Brown Bank marked the limit between the continental shelves of the two countries. Consequently, they set an initial delimitation line that followed the course of the channel, then suggested a line further to the east, presenting it as an adjusted perpendicular to the general direction of the coast in order to avoid dividing the fishing banks. The two countries finally took the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), asking it to draw a single delimitation line, for both the continental shelf and the superjacent water column, from a point located to the south of Machias Seal Island claimed by both parties. The Court decided to use geometric methods to delimit both the seabed and the fishing zones. It drew a line up to Cape Elizabeth on the American coast and a line up to Cape Sable on the southern tip of Nova Scotia to delimit the first segment of the boundary. The bisector with a 278° angle created at the meeting point of these two lines forms the first segment of the boundary. The second segment is constituted by a corrected median line that takes into consideration the disparity in lengths of the coasts of Canada and the United States (284 miles for the United States and 206 miles for the Canadian coastline). Finally, Seal Island, located to the south of Nova Scotia, was only accorded half effect.

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The Atlantic Ocean





St. Stephen





(New Brunswick) St. George Passamaquoddy Bay

Point Lepreau Bliss Is.



Deer I.


East Wolf I.

Moose I. Campobello I.


Long Eddy Point

40 km 20 M

North Head


Grand Manan Island



Machias Bay

White Head I.

Southwest Head

Libby Is. North Rock + 44°30’

Machias Seal I.

+ + +


Three Is.

+ + ++ + ++


+ 10


+ + + + +




++ Gannet Rock




Long I.

Brier I.





(Nova Scotia)

Undisputed international maritime delimitation (from the Mouth of the St. Croix River to the Atlantic Ocean, Treaty of 21 May 1910, internal waters and territorial sea) Award of the ICJ, 12 October 1984 United States maritime delimitation claim Canadian maritime delimitation claim United States / Canadian land boundary 67°30’



The dispute about Machias Seal Island has still not been resolved. The island measures 8 ha and is located approximately 10 nm off the coast of Maine and 12 nm from the Canadian island of Grand Manan. The United States feels that its sovereignty dates back to the 1783

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treaty of Independence in which it is attributed all the islands located within 20 leagues of the coast, while in 1832, Canada built a lighthouse on Machias Seal and kept it from that date without any protest from America until 1971. Although its lighthouses are automated,

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Chapter 8

The Caspian Sea The presence of sizable deposits of black oil on the Absheron Peninsula—where the town of Baku can now be found—has been known since antiquity, as the oil would appear and overflow creating pools and sometimes even veritable lakes. The oil geysers and gas flares created curiosity and fascinated travelers, yet no one dreamt at the time that the substance would turn out to be genuine “black gold.” When the Russians arrived in Baku in 1806, naphtha was only used to light lamps and nobody imagined that this region of the Caspian would quickly and briefly become the center of the world’s oil industry.

coastal countries across the entire expanse of the internal sea, to the exclusion of any other nationalities and with the exception of the coastal fishing area 10 nm wide. A joint Soviet–Iranian company was responsible for commercializing the fishing resources. The appearance of three new states with coasts on the sea in 1991 (Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) radically changed the dynamics in the region as did the discovery of new, large hydrocarbon deposits, particularly off the coasts of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

The discovery of kerosene, the invention of the oil lamp and then the installation of oil-fired furnaces on ships contributed to launching production that started gaining momentum in 1875. In 1900, Russian oil production, which included the oilfields in the Baku region and also to a lesser extent those of Grozny in Chechnya, represented over half of the world’s production, but the Russian Empire did not long profit from this precious resource as the production facilities were destroyed by the anti-Armenian pogroms that hit Baku in 1905. Production did start up again to some degree but never reached its previous levels. The civil war, transformation into a planned economy and the West’s mistrust of the Soviet Union contributed to marginalizing the Caspian Sea area.1 It was not until the fall of the USSR in 1991 that the region of Baku and the Caspian as a whole returned to the stage of international oil.

A totally enclaved sea The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereafter “the Convention”) did not set out any particular provisions for a sea like the Caspian. Article 122 on enclosed or semi-enclosed seas gives the following definition: “A gulf, basin or sea surrounded by two or more States and connected to another sea or the ocean by a narrow outlet or consisting entirely or primarily of the territorial seas and exclusive economic zones of two or more coastal States.” According to this definition the Mediterranean is an enclosed sea, but a fully enclaved sea like the Caspian is not mentioned. Consequently, the measures for managing its resources do not necessarily have to comply with the Law of the Sea, but the relevant provisions of it can be applied if the states around the Caspian so decide.

Until 1991, the Caspian had been administered like a Russo–Iranian lake. Its legal status was defined by agreements between Moscow and Teheran in 1921 and 1940: freedom of navigation was recognized for the two

After the USSR was dissolved, the Russian Federation and Iran, whose offshore area in the Caspian did not hold any mineral resources, argued that the legal regime of the internal sea should continue to be governed by the agreements of 1921 and 1940, arguing that the treaties were binding on the states that succeeded the USSR due to the rules of international law on the succession of states.

1. However during World War II Baku and the North Caucasus were the main oil sources of the whole economy of the USSR. In 1942, the German army launched an offensive aimed at advancing to the oilfield of Baku area, but did not reach its objectives.

Moscow and Teheran therefore felt that the energy and fishing resources in the Caspian should be divided into five equal portions between the five states with coast on the sea regardless of their location. Russia’s position

Delimitation Problems

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Ostrov Chechen

Ostrov Tyuleni





Ostrov Ukatny

Ostrov Kulaly



Cape Urdyuk



Ostrova Tiouleni

Kurmangazy Khvalinskaya









Yuri Korchagin 1



Rakusshechnaya 1

Ostrov Zyudev



Ostrov Chistaya Banka




Kiz lya r sk i Z aliv







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Cape Peschany





Cape Suz

Kazakskiy Zaliv







150 km

75 M



Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan Azerbaijan and Iran Iran and Turkmenistan Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan



Areas claimed by :

0 50 100 200 500

Bathymetry (depth in metres) :



Scale at latitude 42° North :



Limits of claims :



Oilfields operated jointly by Russia and Kazakhstan (Agreement of 13 May 2002)










1 2 3



Müqt dir

Bandar-e Anzali

LankaranTalysh Lerik












Kazakhstan / Russia (Agreement of 6 July 1998) Azerbaijan / Kazakhstan (Agreement of 29 November 2001) Azerbaijan / Kazakhstan / Russia (Trijunction point, Agreement of 14 May 2003)













No Chahr



Guneshli Chiraz Azeri Kiapaz / Absheron Serdar



Dan Ulduzu



Çilov I.


Presqu'île d'Apchéron

Darvina Bank

Apsheron Island















Ogurjaly I.

Babol Sar

Lam Bank





Bandar-e Torkaman




Turkmen Aylagy

Hazar P e ninsu la






Cape Suz




© Geopolitical Atlas of the Oceans


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Chapter 15

The Antarctic

Even if it is a vast continent (13.9 million km²), the Antarctic is only inhabited by temporary populations (almost 4,000 scientists and logistics specialists in summer, and 1,000 in winter) and frequented by fishing and tourist boats in increasing number. The Antarctic is distinct from other regions of the world because it is so outstanding. Its physical, biological and human characteristics are unique. Less obvious, but just as pertinent, are the geopolitical issues that relate to this area and the complex nature of the diplomatic relations between states, not to mention the pioneering new and unique legal aspects. Since the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid 1991), the Antarctic has been a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. It is the only place in the world to have this status, it reflects that the Antarctic is a land of science, a land of cooperation and a land of peace.

The Antarctic, a Land of Science It is often said that the Antarctic is an open-air laboratory for scientists. This conjures up images of researchers wrapped up against the cold, rubbing elbows with penguins or keeping warm in a research station far from the madding crowd. The southern region is the perfect place for scientific research. This has been recognized by states by the establishment of a legal framework to facilitate such research.

Legal recognition of successful scientific cooperation The region’s rich biodiversity and the fact that the region has remained untainted by human activity for so long is of significant scientific interest. Testament to this is the work of the International Polar Years (1882–1883,

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1932–1933 and 2007–2009) and of the third International Geophysical Year (IGY), held from July 1957 to March 1958. This IGY enjoyed unprecedented international scientific cooperation, involving over 4,000 scientific establishments. The continent and its neighboring islands are then home to fifty-five research stations. Ideological and political differences were set aside and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (better known by its acronym SCAR) was created to coordinate activities. Following the success of the IGY, in April 1958, the United States suggested negotiating a convention that would ensure the Antarctic would be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. President Eisenhower invited the governments of the eleven other nations that had participated in the scientific research programs to a conference with a view to preparing a treaty “dedicated to the principle that the vast uninhabited wastes of Antarctica shall be used only for peaceful purposes” and proposing that “Antarctica shall be open to all nations to conduct scientific and other peaceful activities there.” To this end, the Antarctic Treaty, adopted on December 1, 1959, and entered into force in 1961, was negotiated to serve the principles of the Charter of the United Nations as “ensuring the use of Antarctica for peaceful purposes only and the continuance of international harmony in Antarctica will further the purposes and principles embodied” in this charter. The scientific considerations attached to the Antarctic Convergence, judged too vague or strategic, and developed in particular with regard to the islands close to Drake Passage were set aside in favor of the 60° south latitude that marks the boundary of the sovereignty claims—and the area covered by the Antarctic Treaty. To continue the fruitful cooperation that brought together scientists during the IGY, freedom of scientific

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Extended continental shelf claimed 5370 by South Africa on 5 May 2009

Gough I.


Extended continental shelf claimed by Uruguay on 7 April 2009




South Orkney Is.

Marion I.



Scotia Sea


H a a k o n V II S ea

Extended continental shelf granted to France as recommended by the CLCS on 19 April 2012


Cape Horn




2820 Shetland



Larsen Ice Shelf


Kerguelen Is. (FR)

2 I.

Amery Ice Shelf

Ronne Ice Shelf

West Ice Shelf

Bellingshausen Sea (NOR)

Shackleton Ice Shelf

Thurston I.

Amundsen Sea


Ross Sea


Mawson Sea

Ross Ice Shelf Getz Ice Shelf

Extended continental 90° shelf granted to Australia as recommended by the CLCS on 9 April 2008

Davis Sea

South Pole

Peter I Øy



Heard & McDonald Is. (AUS)

A Berkner Alexander I.


Crozet Is. (FR)

Extended continental shelf claimed by Australia on 15 Nov. 2004


Falkland Is.

Punta 1 Arenas



Extended continental shelf claimed by South Africa and France on 6 May 2009



Prince Edward I. Extended continental shelf claimed by Norway on 27 Nov. 2006


South Sandwich Is.



Extended continental shelf claimed by Madagascar on 29 April 2011


South Georgia



Bouvet I. (NOR)




Cape Agulhas

Extended continental shelf claimed by Australia on 15 Nov. 2004

Ross I.



Balleny Is.



Scott I.


Dumont-d'Urville Sea



Extended continental shelf claimed by Australia on 15 Nov. 2004

Macquarie I. (AUS)


Extended continental shelf granted to New Zealand as recommended by the CLCS on 22 August 2008

Antipodes Is. Bounty Is. Chatham Is.

Dunedin 180°

Auckland Is.


Tasman Sea


Melbourne 150°

A N TA R C T I C A Antarctica

Scale at latitude 70° South :

Limit of the CCAMLR*


Limit of the British fishing zone Limit of the application zone of the Antarctic Treaty (1 December 1959) Permanent station (source COMNAP) Marine Protected Area designated by the CCAMLR* in October 2016 : SRZ Special Research Zone — KRZ Krill Research Zone Extended continental shelf claimed by : A Argentina (21 April 2009)

1 2


United Kingdom (11 May 2009)

Argentina / Chile (Agreement of 29 November 1984) Australia / France (Agreement of 4 January 1982)

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Campbell I.



Extended continental shelf granted to Australia as recommended by the CLCS on 9 April 2008

* Commission



800 1000


© Geopolitical Atlas of the Oceans

1200 M 2000 km

Bathymetry (depth in metres) : 0 200 500 1000 2000

3000 4000 5000 6000 7000

for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

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The Antarctic

research and international cooperation (exchange of personnel, information and observations) are enshrined in the treaty. Regardless of declarations of sovereignty by other states, any state may set up stations, carry out research there or organize expeditions anywhere in the zone covered by the treaty (continent and sea), without prohibitions or restrictions other than those set out jointly by the consultative parties, which have the right to vote during meetings of the states parties to the Antarctic Treaty.

Rich national science programs The Antarctic is the setting of multiple scientific research programs. The Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) currently has thirty members and one observer (Portugal) which are all—except Belarus—from national programs of Consultative Parties. They represent the national programs of states parties to the Antarctic Treaty which are responsible for managing their countries’ scientific research in the name of their state. The continent and nearby islands are home to scientific research stations. In 2014, South Korea’s station Jang Bogo and China’s summer station Taishan were opened. Of note among the more advanced projects is Belarus’s national Antarctic program, which consists of establishing a new station on Mount Vechernyaya (Enderby Land). In addition to the eighty-two permanent scientific stations (open all year round) currently in the Antarctic, there are also a number of seasonal bases, refuges and airfield camps in support of or addition to the permanent stations. France for example manages two research stations, one in cooperation. The Dumont d’Urville station was set up in 1956 in Adelie Land, a sector of the Antarctic claimed by France. Alongside the Italian authorities, the French authorities chose to build the Concordia base in Dome C, at an altitude of 3,200 m and 1,145 km from the Dumont d’Urville station. It was opened in 1997 and has been operating as a permanent station since 2005. In doing so, France pooled its resources with Italy and the Franco–Italian cooperation was given legal form on October 4, 2005, in an agreement between the two states on scientific cooperation in the Antarctic. It should be noted that the Concordia research station is set within a sector claimed by Australia, and that this choice did not give rise to official consultations between the two states, although both countries are deeply attached to their territorial claims in Antarctica. In practice, the French Polar Institute (Institut polaire français Paul-Émile Victor–IPEV) manages operations at the Dumont d’Urville station and, in partnership with the Italian National Antarctic Program (PNRA), those of the Concordia research station.

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The Antarctic, a Land of Cooperation The Antarctic is also a land of cooperation. Both the legal framework of the Antarctic and its legal regime make it somewhat original in international relations. If just one article from the Antarctic Treaty should be kept, it would be article 4, for both its originality and the role it plays in cooperation between states.

A “freeze” on territorial claims The Antarctic is administered on the basis of the Antarctic Treaty adopted by twelve states in 1959. The states have multiple interests in the continent: scientific research (particularly as it is an isolated and relatively intact continent), establishing research stations to monitor neighboring waters and exploiting the Antarctic’s fishery and mineral resources. When it comes to territorial claims, the Antarctic Treaty has no equal. The divided circle we often associate with the Antarctic shows the division of the continent into seven sectors, shared out between the seven so-called “claimant” states (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom). Only Marie Byrd Land has not been claimed. This section was tacitly reserved for the United States even though it has never put forward an express claim for territory. Since then, the United States has shown, in particular when requests have been made to extend the continental shelf around the Antarctic, that it does not recognize any of the territorial claims in Antarctica or on the continental shelf. Further, three states (Argentina, Chile and the United Kingdom) claim the Antarctic Peninsula, a region of particular interest due to its geographical proximity to the American continent and its more moderate climate. In order to satisfy states with territorial claims, states that have accepted them and states that have refused them, article 4 of the Antarctic Treaty enshrines what is commonly referred to as a “freeze” on territorial claims. For some countries, the Antarctic remains an international space that belongs to no one and everyone, whereas for other it is a space that has been shared out by a limited number of states. In 1959, when faced with internationalizing the Antarctic or recognizing the existence of territorial claims, states concluded to not make a decision, and established a territorial status quo. This means that the seven states which have put forward territorial claims over one or more sectors of the Antarctic do not have to give up their territorial sovereignty in Antarctica. The claimant states therefore have territorial jurisdiction over the sector(s) that they claim.

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