DepartmentSchool of Environment
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ENV200 – April 5th, 2011
The Arctic Ocean and the Northwest Passage:
As the ice in the Arctic Archipelago shrinks, sovereignty over the
Northwest Passage is questioned.
This is due to new oil access, and a new passage.
Five littoral states – Canada, US, Russia, Denmark, and Norway.
oOverlapping claims of ownership!
Jurisdiction of a State over waters off its coast.
o12 nautical miles off the shore.
oStates must give permission to use the waterway.
oNot the same as EEZ – 200 nautical miles.
2005: The Nuclear Submarine USS Charlotte
oAlleged to have traversed Canadian Arctic waters, although US
stated the passage was international.
oPM Harper announces measures to preserve arctic sovereignty.
2007: Russian expedition placed national flag on ocean floor near the
Does it matter?
oIf the passage is Canadian:
We have right to environmental, immigration, customs
and criminal laws.
Specify the vessels that can enter.
Regulate the activities of those ships
Access to resources.
oPost David Wilkins and the Bush administrations.
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