OTTAWA, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said defining the country's continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean is an integral part of the national legacy.
The Canadian government announced it filed a submission with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to define its territory in the Atlantic Ocean. The government said work was ongoing to determine the full extent of its territory in northern Atlantic regions near the North Pole.
"Defining our continental shelf is something fundamental for our country and a legacy we leave for Canadians," Baird said in a statement Monday.
Melting sea ice in northern climates is exposing new shipping lanes and untapped oil and natural gas reserves. The Canadian subsidiary of Norwegian energy company Statoil in September announced a discovery made off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador could hold as much as 600 million barrels of oil.
The Canadian government made no announcement of its intentions for the Atlantic Ocean.
"While collected for Canada's submission, this data will also contribute to increasing our scientific knowledge of the Arctic," Canadian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea said.