Denmark's Claim to Arctic Continental Shelf a Step Forward

Barents Observer
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Icebreaker Oden: Photo credit USN

Scientists aboard Swedish icebreaker 'Oden' prepare Danish claims as they reach the North Pole.

Denmark is one of three Arctic nations that are collecting data to prove that the seafloor under the North Pole belongs to them. The two others are Russia and Canada. Denmark’s claim will be based on the assumption that the geographical North Pole is a part of the same underwater geological ridge that goes all the way from northern Greenland.

The seafloor claims north of the Arctic countries current 200 nautical miles territory will be decided by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea within the next few years. The decisions will be based on scientific data and that is what the Danish North Pole expedition onboard “Oden” is collecting.

This is the seventh time “Oden” has reached the North Pole. The icebreaker, operated by the Swedish Maritime Administration was the first non-nuclear vessel to break the ice all the way to the top of the world in 1991. Since then, she has been to the North Pole in 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009.

After analyzing this year’s data, Denmark will file its claims to extend its Arctic seabed in 2014.


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