Archipelagic State
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Archipelagic State

An archipelagic state is a designation used for island countries that consist of an archipelago. The designation is legally defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In various conferences,[1]The Bahamas, Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines are the five original sovereign states that obtained approval in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 10 December 1982 and qualified as the archipelagic states.[2]

Archipelagic states are composed of groups of islands forming a state as a single unit, with the islands and the waters within the baselines as internal waters. Under this concept ("archipelagic doctrine"), an archipelago shall be regarded as a single unit, so that the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, irrespective of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the state, and are subject to its exclusive sovereignty. The baselines must enclose the main islands of the archipelago, and the enclosed water to land ratio must be "between 1:1 and 9:1".[3]

The approval of the United Nations (UN) for the five sovereign states as archipelagic states respect[4] existing agreements with other countries and shall recognize traditional fishing rights and other legitimate activities of the immediately adjacent neighboring countries in certain areas falling within archipelagic waters. The terms and conditions for the exercise of such rights and activities, including the nature, the extent and the areas to which they apply, shall, at the request of any of the countries concerned, be regulated by bilateral agreements between them. Such rights shall not be transferred to or shared with third countries or their nationals.[5]

As of 20 June 2015, a total of 22 countries have sought to claim archipelagic status.[6]

List of archipelagic states

This is a list of the archipelagic states in the world. These 22 island countries have sought to claim archipelagic status by utilising the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provisions.[7]Bolded are the five original official archipelagic states.

Name Geographic configuration Geologic location Population Area (km²)[8] Population
density

(per km²)
Geographic location
 Antigua and Barbuda One archipelago with two main islands Continental shelf 86,295 440 194 Caribbean Sea, Leeward Islands
 Bahamas One archipelago Continental shelf 392,000 13,878 23.27 Atlantic Ocean, Lucayan Archipelago
 Cape Verde One archipelago Oceanic 518,467 4,033 125.5 Atlantic Ocean, West Africa
 Comoros One archipelago with three main islands Oceanic 784,745 2,235 275 Indian Ocean, East Africa
 Dominican Republic One archipelago with the main island (Hispaniola) shared with another country (Haiti) Continental shelf 10,652,000 48,442 208.2 Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles
 Fiji One archipelago with two main islands Oceanic 859,178 18,274 46.4 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia
 Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique One archipelago with two main islands Continental shelf 110,000 344 319.8 Caribbean Sea, Windward Islands
 Indonesia One archipelago Two continental shelves 255,461,700 1,904,569 124.7 Maritime Southeast Asia, Malay Archipelago
 Jamaica One archipelago with one main island Continental shelf 2,847,232 10,991 252 Caribbean Sea, Greater Antilles
 Kiribati Archipelago Oceanic 98,000 811 135 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia
 Maldives One archipelago Oceanic 329,198 298 1,105 Indian Ocean, South Asia
 Marshall Islands Archipelago Oceanic 62,000 181 342.5 Pacific Ocean, Micronesia
 Mauritius Two archipelagos[clarification needed] with two main islands Oceanic 1,244,663 2,040 610 Indian Ocean, East Africa
 Papua New Guinea One archipelago with the main island (New Guinea) shared with another country (Indonesia) Continental shelf 6,732,000 462,840 14.5 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia
 Philippines One archipelago Continental shelf 101,398,120 300,000 295 Pacific Ocean, Malay Archipelago
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Archipelago with one main island Continental shelf 120,000 389 307 Caribbean Sea, Windward Islands
 São Tomé and Príncipe One archipelago with two main islands Continental shelf 163,000 1,001 169.1 Atlantic Ocean, Central Africa
 Seychelles Four archipelagos Oceanic 87,500 455 192 Indian Ocean, East Africa
 Solomon Islands Five archipelagos Oceanic 523,000 28,400 18.1 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia
 Trinidad and Tobago One archipelago with two main islands Continental shelf 1,299,953 5,131 254.4 Caribbean Sea, Windward Islands
 Tuvalu One archipelago Oceanic 12,373 26 475.88 Pacific Ocean, Polynesia
 Vanuatu One archipelago Oceanic 243,304 12,190 19.7 Pacific Ocean, Melanesia

See also

References

  1. ^ "Preamble to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: Article 46 - Use of Terms". United Nations. May 13, 2013.
  2. ^ "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982". United Nations. May 13, 2013.
  3. ^ "Semaphore: April 2005". www.navy.gov.au. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "2 laws UNLCOS 200 and Archipelagic States to End Spratlys Disputes: THE ARCHIPELAGIC STATES". Rebuilding for the Better Philippines. May 13, 2013.
  5. ^ "PART IV ARCHIPELAGIC STATES: Article 51 - Existing agreements, traditional fishing rights and existing submarine cables". United Nations. May 13, 2013.
  6. ^ Archipelagic States Practice
  7. ^ The Law of the Sea -- Practice of Archipelagic States
  8. ^ "Island Countries Of The World". WorldAtlas.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-07. Retrieved .

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