Thursday, October 18, 2007

United Kingdom Claiming 386,000 Square Miles of Antarctica

The British have been prominent in Antarctic news this week with many articles on this claim to 386,000 miles of seabed off the coast of the British Antarctic Territory. One of the recent articles is about the environmental groups speaking out against the claim. They are criticizing the British for talking about exploiting oil, gas, and mineral exploration in the region, which could have negative ecocological impacts. Besides the issue of possible environmental impacts of this claim, there are also issues relating to this claim and "the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, which froze territorial disputes" in the Antarctic.

An interesting article explains that the claim to the seabed is being done in order to fall into the 2009 deadline of claming seabed under the UN Law of the Seas. It also tells a little about other countries claims to seabed around Antarctica based on their claims to the Antarctic land. This just shows that although the UK is making the headlines they are not the only country that could threaten the mining protection (currently only protects continent itself, not seabed) and the freezing of claims under the Antarctic Treaty.

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