Undersea data: Canada and Denmark agree on joint survey


This release is also available in French

OTTAWA -- Canada and Denmark have agreed to team up on an undersea data collection project that will help both countries fulfill international commitments. Representatives from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Ottawa on June 27, 2005.

The MOU outlines collaborative surveys in areas north of Ellesmere Island, in Canada's eastern high Arctic, and Greenland, a Home Rule Territory of Denmark. The surveys will help establish the limits of the undersea continental shelves of both countries, as required under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

"This cooperative approach will make it easier for our northern nations to deal with the tremendous technical and physical challenges posed by the harsh climate and remote locations of these studies," said the Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. "By allowing Canada and Denmark to work closely together to interpret the data collected from these surveys, this MOU will promote our understanding of this area of mutual interest while reducing costs."

NRCan's Geological Survey of Canada and the Canadian Hydrographic Service of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are currently performing surveys to determine the limits of those portions of Canada's Arctic and Atlantic continental shelves that lie beyond the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. Canada must submit particulars of these limits, along with supporting technical data, to the UN within 10 years of the date on which it became a party to UNCLOS, which was December 7, 2003.

Establishing the limits of the extended continental shelf will allow Canada to determine precisely the full extent of the area over which it exercises exclusive sovereign rights for the purpose of exploration and exploitation of natural resources, such as minerals, hydrocarbons and sedentary species.

The MOU with Denmark advances the Government of Canada's commitment to the sustainable development of our natural resources, which are a vital part of Canada's economy and society. It also supports the Government's commitment to building on the strength of our country and our people.

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