In Dead Water

mation, Mauritania only landed about 10% of the total catch in 2002, with The Netherlands as the nation with the larg- est catch (23%) in this zone. For developing countries, the intensive fisheries by foreign countries and climate change may become severe for income, livelihoods and food secu- rity for coastal communities. Fishery products are becoming one of the most important rising exports from developing countries (FAO, 2006). The fishery net exports of develop- ing countries (i.e. the total value of their exports less the to- tal value of their imports) showed a continuing rising trend in recent decades, growing from US$4.6 billion in 1984 to US$16.0 billion in 1994 and to US$20.4 billion in 2004. Waters below 200 metres depth cover around 336 million square kilometres world-wide, and can be found in areas within and beyond national jurisdiction. Overview analyses show that the total area of national waters deeper than 200 metres is around 124 million square kilometres, i.e. about five times larger than the total of national waters shallower than 200 metres (approximately 25 million square kilometres). In accordance with the provisions set out in Article 76 (Definition of the continental shelf) of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982 (UNCLOS), certain geologic and physigraphic con- ditions (more precisely sediment thickness and/or change in slope gradient) of the continental margin might give a coastal State the right to delineate the outer limits of its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (i.e. the limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone). This applies only to the seabed and the sub- soil of the legal continental shelf, not to the water column. The procedure to identify whether there is a scope for such a claim, and to compile and interpret the necessary data for a submis- sion to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf set up under UNCLOS, is complex and time-limited, as sub- missions have to bemade by the year 2009 for most countries, and support is given through the UNEP Shelf Programme.


Figure 30. Deep waters within and beyond areas of national ju- risdiction in East Africa. The figure demonstrates that the over- whelming majority of marine areas under national jurisdiction in East Africa are deeper than 200 metres (dark blue). Areas in red indicate where the geology/geomorphology might justify (subject to further research and interpretation) a submission/claim to be made by coastal states individually or jointly to increase their na- tional seabed and subsoil areas, which, in turn, may be of major economic potential.


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