Denmark and Greenland team up for continental shelf claim

In collaboration with Greenland, the government has today delivered scientific documentation for the claim of the continental shelf north of Greenland.

The southern border of the area, which consists of 895,541 square kilometres, is located 200 sea miles from Greenland's northern coast and stretches all the way to the territorial waters of Russia and Norway.

”Our claim to the continental shelf north of Greenland is a historic and important milestone for the Danish kingdom,” Martin Lidegaard, the foreign minister, said in a press release.

”The goal of this massive project is to ascertain the outer borders for our continental shelf and the kingdom. As part of the process, we have had a good working relationship with the realm and our Arctic neighbours.”

Lidegaard went on to say that he was looking forward to constructive meetings with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and to the subsequent bilateral negotiations with the neighbour states.

READ MORE: Denmark makes new claim for Arctic seafloor

Fifth claim
Nations are entitled to the continental shelf (the underwater landmass) within 200 sea miles of their own coast, but claims further out must be supported with special documentation. As part of the claim submission, experts have collected and processed data from the area north of Greenland since 2002.

The claim north of Greenland is the fifth area that the Kingdom of Denmark submits. The first claim – north of the Faeroe Islands – was submitted in 2009, while the area south of the island was submitted in 2010.

In 2012, a claim was submitted regarding the area south of Greenland, and in 2013, a claim was submitted concerning the area northeast of Greenland.

Part of Norway's continental shelf (the part at least 200 sea miles from its coastline), overlaps the Danish/Greenlandic claim, while there is also a potential overlap with  the outer-continental shelves of Canada, Russia and the US.