The Argentine Navy oceanographic research vessel Puerto Deseado has successfully completed the scientific data collection cruise to the northeast and southeast of the Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands), the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially announced in its web site.
This means that "one of the last scientific programmed cruises for collecting information both bathymetric and oceanographic, which will be added to the necessary studies for the determination of the outer limit of the Argentine continental platform", has been completed. The presentation before the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf will be done before the dead line agreed on the UN Sea Law convention which officially expires May 2009, adds the release. "The presentation will include the Islas Malvinas, Georgia del Sur and Sandwich del Sur plus the Argentine Antarctic Sector, because they are integral part of the Argentine national territory", ends the release. "Puerto Deseado" left from Mar del Plata for this latest scientific research data collection last April 17. Under the Law of the Sea Convention coastal countries can claim and must give supportive scientific evidence that their seabed is part of a continuous continental shelf extending further than the 200 miles limit and up to 350 miles from the adjacent coastline. Resources on the 350 miles continental shelf sea bed as well as below will then become exclusive territorial rights of the coastal country that can prove its case. However in disputed areas such is the case of the South Atlantic, the UN Limits Committee merely receives the presentation but does not follow on normal procedure. In some cases some countries have made or are planning joint presentations, as has happened in several cases involving European countries. Apparently at one time the United Kingdom offered such a procedure to Argentina regarding the Falklands' continental shelf but Argentina did not reply. Nevertheless both countries are aware of their respective seabed claims, and the research deployed in support of their presentations, given the profuse scientific activities going on in the South Atlantic and Antarctica.