Continental shelf

Continental shelf comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured (UNCLOS Article 76 paragraph 1). In case, the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance, the continental shelf is assumed that its distance is equaled to 200 nautical miles. The sovereign over their continental shelf can be described in two aspects as follows: The rights are exclusive in the sense that if the coastal state does not explore the continental shelf or exploit it natural resources, no one may undertake these activities without the express consent of the coastal state. The sovereign rights of the coastal state over the continental shelf are inherent rights, and do not depend on occupation, effective of notional, or on any express proclamation. Thus a sovereign right over the continental shelf exists by the fact itself and from the beginning.