Sunday, November 15, 2015

US Sea Floor Continental Shelf Flag

Flag for the US Sea Floor Continental Shelf Claim - Beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone

The Extended and regular Continental Shelf claim is the modern day frontier of the United States.  All nations get an extra "Sea Floor Claim" of 150 Nautical Miles beyond their Exclusive Economic Zone. Note, this only applies to the sea floor and not to the air and ocean above, at least yet.   Sea Floor rights are related to minerals and creatures on the bottom of the ocean.  Thus oil deposits found in this area belong to one particular nation.  Likewise any crabs, sponges, starfish, lobsters, and clams are under sovereign marine jurisdiction.  But any fish swimming in these waters are in International Waters, free for the pickings of any fisherman. 

Unlike the unresolved Lunar and Antarctica claims, the Extended Continental Shelf Claims are a hot topic for industries in the mining, crabbing, scientific exploration communites, and James Cameron.

The Extended Continental Self claim of the United States is estimated to be about half the size of the Louisiana Purchase.  Certainly a strange claim, since, it can extend the sea floor rights of a nation a maximum of 100 Nautical Miles beyond the established 150 Nautical Mile seafloor claim further out from the Exclusive Economic Zone but only if certain requirements are met.

First this measurement must fall at a depth of 2500 meters below sea; and within the established continental shelf claim.  To restate that's 2.5 kilometers below sea level.  Then perpendicular from this point (the 2500 meter isobath depth) a nation's Extended Seafloor Claim can reach out an extra 100 Nautical Miles.  Thus in theory, a nation could have extended seafloor rights that reach up to a maximum of 450 Nautical Miles out to Sea from a nations low tide coastline mark.  This only applies if the 2500 meter depth Isobath (depth from sea level) just happens to be on the 350th Nautical Mile out to sea.

 Note that Extended Continental Shelf claims are all in, or rather under, international waters.  This means that the Extended Continental Shelf Claim applies only to the surface of the Earth underwater.  All waters and airspace directly above the Extended Continental Shelf Claim does belong to any one particular nation.

Eventually this situation will change when people colonize the bottom of the sea in the 22nd Century.  In theory, as it has not yet happened, a person born on the bottom on the sea floor has the right to fly this flag.

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