August 8, 2009

FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES:

Sticking to our (air) guns in Arctic: In bid to prove Canada's claim over vast region, ship shoots bubbles to survey the sea floor (Paul Watson, 8/08/09, Toronto Star)

ABOARD THE CCGS LOUIS S. ST-LAURENT–In defence of Canada's Arctic sovereignty, the heavy guns blow big bubbles.

They don't point north at the Russians, but toward the sea floor that marks the front line in Ottawa's struggle to prove its claim over a vast region rich in natural resources.

When Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2003, the clock started ticking on a 10-year deadline to submit its claim to a UN commission that oversees claims to economic zones beyond 320 kilometres from a country's shores.

If scientists can provide geological evidence that Canada's Arctic continental shelf extends further than that limit, Ottawa could prove the right to exploit vast reserves of oil, natural gas and minerals from the seabed to what is called "the outer limit."

With so much potential wealth at stake, the federal government has budgeted at least $109 million since 2004 on efforts to find geologic proof in sediments and slopes on the sea floor to defend Canada's Arctic sovereignty.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 8, 2009 6:38 AM
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