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The International Law of the SeaIndia and the UN Convention of 1982$

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198060000

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198060000.001.0001

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(p.330) Annexure IV Convention on the Continental Shelf, 1958

(p.330) Annexure IV Convention on the Continental Shelf, 1958

Source:
The International Law of the Sea
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

The States Parties to this Convention Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

For the purpose of these articles, the term ‘continental shelf is used as referring (a) to the seabed and sub-soil of the submarine areas adjacent to the coast but outside the area of the territorial sea, to a depth of 200 meters or beyond that limit, to where the depth of the superjacent waters admits of the exploitation of the natural resources of the said areas; (b) to the seabed and sub-soil of similar submarine areas adjacent to the coasts of islands.

Article 2

  1. 1. The coastal State exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources.

  2. 2. The rights referred to in paragraph 1 of this article are exclusive in the sense that if the coastal State does not explore the continental shelf or exploit its natural resources, no one may undertake these activities, or make a claim to the continental shelf, without the express consent of the coastal State.

  3. 3. The rights of the coastal State over the continental shelf do not depend on occupation, effective or notional, or on any express proclamation.

  4. 4. The natural resource's referred to in these articles consist of the mineral and other non-living resources of the seabed and sub-soil together with living organisms belonging to sedentary species that is to say, organisms which, at the harvestable stage, either are immobile on or under the seabed or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or the sub-soil.

Article 3

The rights of the coastal State over the continental shelf do not affect the legal status of the superjacent waters as high seas, or that of the airspace above those waters.

(p.331) Article 4

Subject to its right to take reasonable measures for the exploration of the continental shelf and the exploitation of its natural resources, the coastal State may not impede the laying or maintenance of submarine cables or pipelines on the continental shelf.

Article 5

  1. 1. The exploration of the continental shelf and the exploitation of its natural resources must not result in any unjustifiable interference with navigation, fishing or the conservation of the living resources of the sea, nor result in any interference with fundamental oceanographic or other scientific research carried out with the intention of open publication.

  2. 2. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 6 of this article, the coastal State is entitled to construct and maintain or operate on the continental shelf installations and other devices necessary for its exploration and the exploitation of its natural resources, and to establish safety zones around such installations and devices and to take in those zones measures necessary for their protection.

  3. 3. The safety zones referred to in paragraph 2 of this article may extend to a distance of 500 meters around the installations and other devices which have been erected, measured from each point of their outer edge. Ships of all nationalities must respect these safety zones.

  4. 4. Such installations and devices, though under the jurisdiction of the coastal State, do not possess the status of islands. They have no territorial sea of their own, and their presence does not affect the delimitation of territorial sea of the coastal State.

  5. 5. Due notice must be given of the construction of any such installation and permanent means for giving warning of their presence must be maintained Any installations which are abandoned or disused must be entirely removed.

  6. 6. Neither the installations or devices, nor the safety zones around them may be established where interference may be caused to the use of recognized sea lanes essential to international navigation.

  7. 7. The coastal State is obliged to undertake, in the safety zones, appropriate measures for the protection of the living resources of the sea from harmful agents.

  8. 8. The consent of the coastal State shall be obtained in respect of a research concerning the continental shelf and undertaken there. Nevertheless, the coastal State shall not normally withhold its consent if the request submitted by a qualified institution with a view to purely scientific research, into the physical or biological characteristics of the continental shelf, subject to the proviso that (p.332) the coastal State shall have the right, if it so desires, to participate or to be represented in the research, and that in any event the results shall be published.

Article 6

  1. 1. Where the same continental shelf is adjacent to the territories of two or more States whose coasts are opposite each other, the boundary of the continental shelf appertaining to such States shall be determined by agreement between them. In the absence of agreement, and unless another boundary line is justified by special circumstances, the boundary is the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points of the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of each State is measured.

  2. 2. Where the same continental shelf is adjacent to the territories of two adjacent States, the boundary of the continental shelf shall be determined by agreement between them. In the absence of agreement, and unless another boundary Vine is justified by special circumstances, the boundary shall be determined by application of the principle of equidistance from the near points of the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of each State is measured.

  3. 3. In delimiting the boundaries of the continental shelf, any lines which, are drawn in accordance with the principles set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article should be defined with reference to charts and geographic features as they exist at a particular date, and reference should be made to fixed permanent identifiable points on the land.

Article 7

The provisions of these articles shall not prejudice the right of the coastal State to exploit the sub-soil by means of tunnelling, irrespective of the depth of water above the sub-soil.