Pakistan gains 50,000km marine area as UN extends continental shelf

May 7, 2009
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has got its continental shelf extended from 200 nautical miles to 350 nautical miles and would subsequently gain a maritime area of more than 50,000 kilometres, Science and Technology Minister Azam Khan Swati said on Wednesday.

He told a press conference that the extension in the continental shelf would benefit the country in marine data acquiring, which would provide a reliable database and foundation, essential for future marine research and exploration of marine resources. It will also provide a good basis for scientists and technicians to further promote and develop marine geological and geophysical research, he added. Swati said the extension would contribute directly to the petroleum and mineral sector and also to the offshore maritime industry. Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York had filed Islamabad’s claim for extension in its continental shelf to the UN Commission on the Limit of Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) on April 30. The Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) had been tasked with preparing the claim in accordance with UN requirements. tahir niaz

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