Fair weather ahead for Faroes – Fishupdate.com

Fair weather ahead for Faroes Published:  24 March, 2014

THE Faroe Islands have been handed control of a much larger area of the Continental Shelf to the north of the country, which should give its fishing industry a major lift.

The claim was submitted by the Faroes five years ago and the new zone covers 87,792 km2 of continental shelf.

The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), a United Nations treaty organ established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, said it has recognised the claimed entitlement of the Faroe Islands to an outer continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles north of the country’s shores.

A statement said: ‘The CLCS endorsed the entire area claimed by the Government of Denmark together with the Government of the Faroes, and thereby confirming the sovereign rights of Denmark/Faroes to exercise sovereign rights in this area in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.’

The development is quite significant because recent scientific studies have suggested that cod and haddock shoals in particular are moving further north, possible due to sea warming. It also gives the Faroes rights to any oil or gas finds in the new area.

The statement said the neighbouring States of Norway and Iceland have overlapping claims to parts of the area in question. As a consequence of this, Denmark/Faroes, Iceland and Norway agreed in 2006 to a prospective procedure on how to delimit the area of mutual interest.

A prerequisite for making effective this agreement is that the CLCS endorses each State’s submission to the relevant area. Norway received its relevant recommendations in March 2009.

Denmark/Faroes and Norway now await the completion of the submission of Iceland, which is currently pending, in order to finalise the three bilateral delimitation agreements.

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