Publication Details

van de Poll, R. & Schofield, C. (2010). A seabed scramble: a global overview of extended continental shelf submissions. Proceedings of the Advisory Board on the Law of the Sea (ABLOS) conference on Contentious Issues in UNCLOS – Surely Not? (pp. 1-11). Monaco: ABLOS.


Early 2009 saw a flurry of submissions of information on proposed outer continental shelf limits to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). It is evident that many of these submissions overlap with one another where neighbouring States are located on shared continental margins, thereby giving rise to multiple „new‟ outer continental shelf boundaries and, it would appear, potential outer continental shelf boundary disputes. The paper provides a global overview of the impact of extended continental shelf submissions. These substantial „additional‟ areas of continental shelf may contain valuable seabed resources, including hydrocarbons. However, development of the resources of the outer continental shelf is likely to be constrained by overlapping submissions to the same areas of outer continental shelf. Such overlaps and potential conflicts are highlighted.

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6th IHO-IAG ABLOS Conference