Portugal submitted a claim to extend its jurisdiction over additional 2.15 million square kilometers of the neighboring continental shelf in May 2009., resulting in a marine territory of more than 3,877,408 km2.
Spain disputes the EEZ's southern border, maintaining that it should be drawn halfway between Madeira and the Canary Islands. Portugal exercises sovereignty over the Savage Islands, a small archipelago north of the Canaries, hence claiming an EEZ border further south. Spain objects, arguing that the Savage Islands do not have a separate continental shelf, citing article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. On the basis of this article, Spain claims the Savage Islands are not islands, but instead uninhabitable rocks. The Savage Islands are a protected Portuguese natural reserve, and thus its year-round inhabitants are workers of Madeira Natural Park who look over the isolated natural reserve, protecting its wildlife. Over the years, the Portuguese authorities have seized some Spanish fishing boats around the area for illegal fishing.