Canada, US Break Ice to Map Arctic
by Jesper Hansen
Monday, July 07, 2008
The United States and Canada, which have been known to disagree on certain Arctic sovereignty claims, will collaborate for the first time on a United Nations scientific mapping project aimed at extending their sovereignty in the Arctic, reported CBC News.
Canadian and American icebreakers will head northward later this summer to map the Canada Basin, located north of the Beaufort Sea, said Canadian officials to CBC News.
Both Canada and The United States are trying to prove their continental shelves extend beyond the 200 nautical-mile economic zone, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This was confirmed when eight countries signed the Ilulissat Declaration last month.
Canada, which ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2003, is already collaborating with Denmark on mapping the Lomonosov Ridge, located just off the coasts of Ellesmere Island and Greenland.
The U.S. has not yet ratified the treaty, but it is moving ahead with its scientific work anyway.
CBC news reports that a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said the joint effort will save both countries time and money, as well as increase the amount of data coming in for both countries.
Canada and the U.S. have long disagreed on the Northwest Passage, with Canada arguing the Arctic waterway belongs to Canada and the U.S. arguing that it is an international waterway.