Canada Starts a Mission to Bid for Control of Sea Floor under North Pole

Canada Starts a Mission to Bid for Control of Sea Floor under North Pole

Canada has announced in the past that it has been planning to bid for control of the sea floor under and beyond the North Pole. And now, it has strengthened its plan by sending two icebreakers to the High Arctic to collect scientific data.

A six-week journey is intended to take the coast guard vessels into the eastern side of the Lomonosov Ridge. Ellesmere Island is the starting point of the undersea ridge, which runs northward over the pole. The ridge is likely to provide Canada a claim on a vast section of Arctic sea floor some day.

However, there are disputes as well in the claims about the ridge, as both Denmark and Russia say that the ridge extends from their shores and the pole is on the side of the ridge that is closer to Greenland.

A UN treaty that controls sea-floor claims has called for negotiation to settle overlapping bids. Canada kicked off a mission to map the seabed surrounding the North Pole on Friday.

A UN application was filed by Canada in December over the rights for vastly expanding its Atlantic sea boundary and gave hints about controlling the North Pole. This triggered Russia to order the country's military to boost its presence in the Arctic.

Russia and Canada have both been claiming the North Pole as well as large swathes of the Arctic, which are predicted by the US Geological Survey to contain 13% of the world's undiscovered oil and up to 30% of natural gas reserves.

"Our government is committing the resources necessary to ensure that Canada secures international recognition of the full extent of its continental shelf, including the North Pole", Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.

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