Canada Acquires Subs To Chart Arctic Claims


The Canadian government has taken delivery of two remote-controlled submarines that will be used to document its territorial claims in the Arctic.

"Canada is the first country in the world to use this type of technology" to map the Arctic, John Weston, a member of parliament, said at a ceremony in Vancouver Tuesday marking the delivery.

The unmanned submersibles built by Submarine Engineering of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, will operate under the Arctic ice to gather data on the outer limits of Canada's continental shelf.

Delineating the continental shelf in the Arctic is important because it would help Canada establish its rights under international law to natural resources in the Arctic ocean beyond the 200 nautical mile limit.

Ottawa has until 2013 to present its case under the U.N. convention on the law of the sea.

The Arctic is an immense, potentially energy-rich region that could become more accessible in an age of global warming. That has made it the object of rivalry between the five states that border it - the U.S., Russia, Norway, Canada and Denmark.

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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