[Coral-List] Chagos MPA - Continuing international dispute over boundaries

Richard Dunne RichardPDunne at aol.com
Tue Sep 28 05:47:13 EDT 2010

  Dear Listers


On 26 July 2010 the Government of the Republic of the Maldives filed a 
submission to the United Nations (Commission on the Limits of the 
Continental Shelf) proposing to extend its seabed beyond the 200nm EEZ. 
The submission also clearly shows that the Maldivian EEZ overlaps an 
large area of the claimed Chagos Fisheries and Environment Zone, and the 
proposed MPA.

The UK Government formally replied to the submission on 9 August, noting 
that it "does not take full account of the 200 nautical mile Fisheries 
and Environment Zones of the British Indian Ocean Territory", but that 
"The UK is fully committed to formalising these boundaries at the 
earliest opportunity with the Republic of Maldives".

The UK and the Maldives last had discussions at a technical level in 
1992 about the overlap of the respective 200nm claims. Dr Howells (UK 
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs) confirmed in 2008 that 
formal agreement had still not been reached between the countries. On 9 
May 2010, the Maldivian Foreign Minister expressed concern over UK 
Foreign Secretary Milliband's declaration of the MPA, re-iterating that 
the demarcation line between the southern Maldives and Chagos had not 
been agreed. The Maldives contends that its claim to the area is 
supported by the fact that the Chagos is not permanently inhabited. To 
date there have been no further talks between the Maldives and the UK.


Richard P Dunne

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