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Activity 8B, The Sensible Use of the Shared Seas

Country Profiles

Handout 8B

The Sea of Plenty is becoming badly polluted.  Some scientists predict that living resources (fish, etc.) are diminishing, and that there will be almost no edible fish and shellfish within 25 years if present trends continue.  An international conference has been called by nations surrounding the Sea of Plenty to consider adopting agreements for resolving their conflicting claims to territorial limits, rights of passage and exploitation of the deep sea beyond the continental shelves, etc.  Read the profiles of all the countries, not just your own.


Per capita GNP $1,000.  Twelve-mile territorial limit.  Now claims a 200-mile economic zone, that is, the right to all living and nonliving resources.  Insists on right of territorial control with Bushland over the Dire Straits.  Concerned about oil spills from drilling around the Sea of Plenty and from the giant tankers from Oceana.  The breakup of a smaller tanker caused millions of dollars damage to beaches and wild life.  Fishing, especially of anchovies, is Anchovia's major industry, and the catch is diminishing each year.  It is also concerned about the depletion of salmon, which spawn up the Salmon River.  Oceana's trawlers take huge catches, often within Anchovia's 200-mile limit, which Oceana insists is legal.  Anchovia demands a share of profits from exploitation of deep seabed mineral resources, and it also wants an international agency to license manganese nodule exploitation.


Per capita GNP $150.  The country is landlocked.  Outland's people once controlled all of Petrolia and deeply resent not having any share in the great wealth coming to Petrolia from oil.  Outland insists on a corridor to the sea and that all resources beyond a 12-mile limit belong to all mankind and should be placed under the jurisdiction of a world-wide organization.


Per capita GNP $200.  Twelve-mile territorial limit.  Two hundred-mile economic zone.  A poor, largely agricultural country.  Fishing is a major source of protein for its ill-fed people.  But the annual catch is declining, and this is blamed on Oceana's mass production fishing with advanced technology.  Rich oil deposits have been discovered 125 miles off Bushland's southern coast.  But these deposits are located on Petrolia's continental shelf.  Petrolia is also drilling there for oil.  Bushland wants a percentage of profits from manganese nodules, with their exploitation controlled by an international agency.


Per capita GNP $100.  The country is landlocked.  A poor country desperately attempting to find the capital for economic development, Lockland insists on establishing an international agency that will exploit all nonliving resources beyond the 12-mile limit, with the profits going to all nations.  "Such resources are the common heritage of all mankind," declared Lockland's president.


Per capita GNP $4,500.  Three-mile limit.  Two hundred-mile economic zone.  An oil-rich country that is rapidly becoming a major industrial power.  Its oil had previously been carried on Oceana's tankers, but now Petrolia is building its own naval fleet.  It is insisting upon a three-mile territorial limit to insure free transit or noninterference from Bushland and Anchovia for Petrolian military vessels through the Dire Straits.  Petrolia soon will have the technology to take manganese nodules from the deep seabed in the Sea of Plenty.  It is therefore opposed to economic zones of 200 miles, which would prevent access to nodules within 200 miles off Anchovia, and does not want interference from an international-controlling agency.


Per capita GNP $5,000.  Three-mile territorial limit.  Twelve-mile fishing limit.  Economic zone on continental shelf to depth of 200 meters.  Oceana is a highly developed industrial and military power.  Its ships roam the world and fish with the most advanced technology in the Sea of Plenty, especially off Anchovia's Great Banks and Bushland's shores.  Its giant tankers regularly bring vital oil from Petrolia through the Dire Straits to keep Oceana's industries rolling.  It maintains a naval fleet, including nuclear submarines, in the Sea of Plenty.  Free transit through the Dire Straits is essential for Oceana.  It is already beginning to take manganese from the seabed at depths of two miles and more, and opposes any effort to control its activities.

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