Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yukon-Alaska border dispute continues

The joint mapping effort will not extend into areas of the Canada Basin where Russia is also making sovereign claims, nor will it go into a disputed boundary area farther south between the Yukon and Alaska.

The U.S. and Canada have disagreed over the maritime boundary line between the two regions. Canada claims it extends out 200 nautical miles following the Alaska-Yukon border, while the U.S. says it runs perpendicular to the coast.

That dispute is "well managed" for now, and the Canada Basin mapping work is a bigger priority at this time, said Caterina Ventura, acting director of the Oceans and Environmental Law Division at the Foreign Affairs Department.

"At the moment, one can say that we're focusing our efforts on co-operation with regard to the mapping of the continental shelf in the area," she said.

The U.S. has made it clear that it wants the boundary dispute in the Beaufort Sea to be resolved with Canada without international interference.

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