23 Aug 2004

New Caledonia's waters mapped

4:21 pm on 23 August 2004

Research in waters off New Caledonia shows the territory's economic rights may extend beyond the 200 mile limit of its Exclusive Economic Zone.

The French research ship, Atalante, has found that the continental shelf off the Loyalty Islands may add a large tract of water and seabed to the zone already claimed by France.

The Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper says the findings are preliminary after the ship mapped another 70-thousand square kilometres.

Any claim has to be lodged with the UN by 2009.