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The Danish Parliament agrees to demarcation north of the Faroe Islands

25.05.2021  17:33
The Danish Parliament (Folketinget) today gave their full support to the delimitation agreements with Iceland and Norway, respectively, concerning the area north of the Faroe Islands. 

Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod:

”These agreements are prime examples of international cooperation. We have negotiated a new maritime border between three countries - peacefully, and in close coordination with our Faroese, Norwegian, and Icelandic colleagues. The agreements expand the limits of the continental shelf north of the Faroe Islands by an area equivalent to the Danish peninsula of Jutland.”

The agreements with Iceland and Norway, respectively, expand the limits of the continental shelf north of the Faroe Islands by approx. 27,000 square kilometers - equivalent to more than half of Denmark. 

”At a time of growing great power rivalry, we are proud that the Nordic countries and the Kingdom of Denmark are showing the way forward,  demonstrating that diplomacy is the way to go. Also when tackling harder issues like international boundaries,” says Jeppe Kofod.

Background
The waters around the Faroes are divided into different maritime zones. 

To measure those maritime zones, so-called base points are used, which are typically the outermost point on an island or a skerry. 

The internal waters are defined using both normal baselines and straight baselines in accordance with the 1958 Geneva Convention and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

The territorial sea is determined by Regulation No 240 of 30 April 2002 to be 12 nautical miles from the coast. 

From the outer limits of the territorial sea the so-called Fisheries Protection Zone starts. It extends up to 200 nautical miles from the coast. However, the extent of the Fisheries Protection Zone towards Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom, respectively, are governed by bilateral boundary agreements. 

According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea the coastal state has exclusive and sovereign rights to the seabed's natural resources, including oil, gas and other minerals, as well as certain living resources, such as crabs and mussels. The Faroe Islands have taken over these areas of competence. 

For further information please contact Senior Lead Council, Henning Dobson Fugleberg Knudsen (henknu@um.dk)