Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

The Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles: Rights and Responsibilities

Joanna Mossop


Under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC), coastal States have sovereign rights over the resources of their continental shelf out to 200 nautical miles (nm) from the coast. Where the physical shelf extends beyond 200 nm, States may exercise rights over those resources to the outer limits of the continental shelf. More than eighty States may be entitled to claim sovereign rights over their continental shelf where it extends beyond 200 nm, and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) is currently examining many of these claims. This book examines the nature of the rights and obligations of coastal States in this area, focusing on the options for regulating activities on the extended continental shelf. Because the extended continental shelf lies below the high seas, the area poses unique legal challenges for coastal States, which are different from those faced in respect of the shelf within 200 nm. In addition, the LOSC imposes some specific obligations that coastal States must comply with in respect of the extended continental shelf. The book discusses the development of the concept of the extended continental shelf. It explores a range of issues facing the coastal State in regulating matters such as environmental protection, fishing, bioprospecting, exploitation of non-living resources, and marine scientific research on the extended continental shelf. The book proposes a framework for navigating the intersection between the high seas and the extended continental shelf and minimizing the potential for conflict between flag and coastal States.

Bibliographic Information

Joanna Mossop, author

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.