Seven Pacific countries are racing to make sovereignty claims over their extended continental shelves before a deadline expires next year.
The group all want to secure rights to resources on the seabed that could include oil, gas, gold and silver.
The Regional Geoscience Commission, Sopac, is helping to co-ordinate the work and the manager of the Oceans and Islands Programme, Arther Webb, says they only have a year to put together quite complicated claims:
"What it comes down to is having a good set of data that allows countries to look at the sea floor if you like and to be able to identify features on the sea floor which allow for the claim beyond there 200 nautical mile EEZ."
The manager of Sopac's Oceans and Islands Programme, Arther Webb,
The nations looking to make claims are Fiji, Kiribati, the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Palau.