NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Community News Network

December 24, 2013

5 myths about the North Pole

(Continued)

Recent news reports suggest that the governments of Canada and Russia are vying for control of the region, as when much of Africa was divided up by colonial powers. But Canada's and Russia's efforts to determine their rights over the North Pole's soil and subsurface are part of a well-established international process. Under the terms of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), both states have the right to resources such as oil, gas, minerals and anything else that exists on the bottom of the ocean more than 200 nautical miles off their coasts.

States have the right to determine if they have an extended continental shelf, which is a natural extension of the underwater landmass. They must conduct thorough measurements (no easy task in the Arctic) and then give their findings to a body established by UNCLOS to check their science. This U.N. body determines only if the science submitted is correct. Then it is up to the states involved to resolve any overlaps. So far, Russia, Canada and Denmark are proceeding as the rules prescribe, and there is no reason to expect conflict.

3. There is no international law governing the North Pole.

The waters at and surrounding the North Pole are governed by the same international laws that apply to all other oceans. And as the ice there begins to melt, the water above the seabed will remain international waters. (We've lost about 20,000 square miles of ice per year since 1981.)

If, as the sea warms, new stocks of fish and marine mammals move to the waters in and around the North Pole, then international fishing fleets will have the right to pursue them. In general, the collapse of world fishing stocks is blamed on the weakness of existing rules, including the enforcement of fishing limits and faulty reporting of fishing stocks. Thus, those problems could be exported to the waters of the North Pole and become major international challenges.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network

Offbeat
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans