National Dataset

National Continental Shelf

The Continental Shelf is the area of the seabed and subsoil which extends beyond the territorial sea to a distance of 200M from the territorial sea baseline and beyond that distance to the outer edge of the continental margin as defined in Article 76 of the Convention. The continental shelf is largely coextensive with the exclusive economic zone within 200M from the territorial sea baselines (there are certain areas between Australia and Indonesia and Australia and Papua New Guinea where they are not coextensive).

Australia has sovereign rights over the continental shelf for the purposes of exploring and exploiting the mineral and other non-living resources of the seabed and subsoil, together with sedentary organisms. In this area, Australia also has jurisdiction with regard to marine scientific research as well as other rights and responsibilities.

In order to support any claim to delineation of the outer limit of the extended continental shelf beyond 200M as measured from the territorial sea baseline, Australia has submitted details, together with supporting scientific information, to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. In areas where the area of extended continental shelf is within 200M of another country, Australia will not be required to take that area to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

Geoscience Australia's Law of the Sea and Maritime Boundary Advice Project is responsible for the survey and definition of the limits of the Continental Shelf.

Use Case