Grupo de investigación RNM-177
Universidad de Sevilla
PAIDI. Junta de Andalucía

Suárez Vivero JL. The extended continental shelf: A geographical perspective of the implementation of article 76 of UNCLOS. Ocean & Coastal Management. 2013; 73: 113-126.


The delimitation of the outer edge of the continental margin beyond 200 nautical miles is paving the way for areas where States exercise rights of sovereignty to be extended when their geographical locations with respect to the continental margin allows it. Sixty-one submissions and forty-five preliminary reports, involving a total of ninety-one States (submitted to 31.07.2001), enable some of the geopolitical consequences to be outlined. Amongst those that can be highlighted are sometimes substantial changes in States’ territorial bases and economic potential, and the global balance between national and international jurisdictions. This article uses regional and global scale maps based on national reports deposited with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to present the main geographical and geopolitical findings. The geographical analysis similarly enables a quantitative estimation to be made of the effects of jurisdictional expansion on the “global commons”, of insularity and of the territorial gains made by the States concerned.