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The Danish Realm Claims Area Twice the Size of Denmark

May 01, 2009
Following seven years of research and data collection, the Faroe Islands and Denmark have submitted documentation that a large portion of the continental shelf in the North Atlantic belongs to the Danish Realm.
– The Danish Realm, which means Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands as a whole, is now reaping the first fruits of an extremely difficult research project in the North Atlantic that we launched seven years ago, says Helge Sander, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.

One purpose of the Continental Shelf Project is to document the rights of the Realm relative to the North Pole.

– We are now claiming an area north of the Faroe Islands about twice the size of Denmark proper. Together with the Faroese Home Rule Government, the Danish Government has submitted research data as documentation of the claim to the UN Commission on the Law of the Sea, says Helge Sander.

The area now claimed is 87,792 sq.km large, which is about twice the size of Denmark.

Norway and Iceland have overlapping claims within the same area. It has therefore been agreed with the two countries to seek a negotiated solution, which will enter into force if the UN accepts the documentation of all three countries.

Up to now, it has taken about two years to have claims approved under the UN Convention of 1982 on the Law of the Sea, but at present many countries are standing in queue for approval of their claims, so it may take a longer time.

The continental shelf project was started in 2002 and is intended to document the rights of the Danish Realm to exploit resource deposits on and below the seabed around Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The project deals with five relevant areas in the North Atlantic: one north and one south of the Faroe Islands and three areas near Greenland.

For further comments from Science Minister Helge Sander, please contact Information Manager Allan Boldt, tel.: +45 33 92 97 39, abo@vtu.dk.

For further information about the Continental Shelf Project, please contact Thorkild Meedom, Head of Division, tel.: +45 33 92 99 30, tme@vtu.dk.

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