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What about artificial islands?

Home Forums Research Law and Politics What about artificial islands?

This topic contains 88 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of  Anonymous 6 years, 2 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 89 total)
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    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    1. 12/200 is not “given” to all nations. Land locked nation dont have territorial waters or EEZ.
    2. U.S. doesnt have artificial islands because they are ignorant. There are tons of money to be made off the U.S. coast.
    3. 12/200 as a security or economic “Buffer Zone” its a myth. ICBMs by country

      [edit] Flag of the United States United States

      • Atlas (SM-65, CGM-16) former ICBM launched from silo, the rocket is now used for other purposes
      • Titan I (SM-68, HGM-25A) Based in underground launch complexes.
      • Titan II (SM-68B, LGM-25C) — former ICBM launched from silo, the rocket is now used for other purposes
      • Minuteman I (SM-80, LGM-30A/B, HSM-80)
      • Minuteman II (LGM-30F)
      • Minuteman III (LGM-30G) — launched from silo — as of May, 2009, there are 450 Minuteman III missiles in active inventory
      • LGM-118 Peacekeeper / MX (LGM-118A) — silo-based; decommissioned in May 2006
      • Midgetman — has never been operational — launched from mobile launcher
      • Polaris A1, A2, A3 — (UGM-27/A/B/C) former SLBM
      • Poseidon C3 — (UGM-73) former SLBM
      • Trident — (UGM-93A/B) SLBM — Trident II (D5) was first deployed in 1990 and is planned to be deployed past 2020.

      [edit] Flag of the Soviet Union Soviet Union / Flag of Russia Russia

      Specific types of Soviet ICBMs include:

      [edit] Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom

      The United Kingdom only deploys United States constructed submarine launched ICBMs. The UK contributes towards the development of the U.S. constructed missiles which it uses.

      • Blue Streak — British constructed ICBM cancelled in favour of SLBMs
      • Polaris A1, A2, A3 — (UGM-27/A/B/C) former SLBM used by the Royal Navy.
      • Trident — (UGM-93A/B) SLBM — Trident II (D5) currently used by the Royal Navy and planned to be deployed until the 2050s.

      [edit] Flag of France France

      France only deploys submarine launched ICBMs, with all land based ones decommissioned

      • M4 — Decommissioned in 2003.
      • M45 — In service.
      • M51.1 — Expected to enter service in 2010.
      • M51.2 — Expected to enter service in 2015.

      [edit] Flag of the People's Republic of China People’s Republic of China

      Specific types of Chinese ICBMs called Dong Feng (“East Wind”).

      • DF-4 CSS-3 — silo based and semimobile, 5,550-7,000 km range.
      • DF-5 CSS-4 (1981-present) — silo based, 12,000 km range.
      • DF-5A (16th Dec, 1986 – present) – silo based, 15,000+ km range.
      • DF-31 CSS-9 — silo and road mobile, 7,200+ km range.
      • Railroad-based DF-31 — railroad mobile, 7,200+ km range.
      • DF-31A CSS-9 — silo and road mobile, 11,200+ km range.
      • JL-2 — SSBN-based, ~8000 km range.

      [edit] Flag of Israel Israel

      • Jericho II-capable of sending a one ton nuclear payload 5,000 kilometers. [9] capable of being modified to carry one nuclear warhead that is no heavier than 500 kg over 7,800 km.[10]
      • Jericho III – believed to have a range of up to 11,500 km with 1-1.3 ton payload[6]. Entered service in 2008.

      [edit] Under Development

      [edit] Flag of India India

      • Agni 3SL (SLBM) -Under development (5200 km @ 1,400 kg and 11,600 km @ 700 kg)[11]
      • Agni V -Under development [12]
      • Agni V SLBM-Under development [12]
      • Surya-I -Under development[13]
      • Surya-II -Under development

      [edit] Flag of North Korea North Korea

      North Korea currently does not have any ICBM in its inventory.

      • Taepodong-2 (4,000 – 9,000 km range, failed test in 2006)
    4. The Stationary Seastead will be fixed on the bottom of the high seas. Keep that in mind. Lets say Mr.Smith has a fixed seastead 1000′ long on a seamount 1500nm offshore. I have a 1000′ long mobile seastead, and I am steaming @ 6knt on a trans pacific course that is taking me 2nm north of Mr.Smith’s seastead. The only thing that I will do, out of maritime courtesy, will be to call in and identify myself (I mean the seastead), by name and flag , mention my heading and speed and my intention to continue on that heading and speed and pass Mr.Smith seastead 2nm to my port. Thats about it. If Mr.Smith will call back telling me that I am passing thru his seastead territorial water I will respond, AGAIN and FOR THE LAST TIME that


      Freedom of the high seas

      1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:

      (a) freedom of navigation;


    Invalidity of claims of sovereignty over the high seas

    No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty.

    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith

    12/200 is not “given” to all nations.

    Sorry, I should have specified “coastal States” but I thought that could be assumed. 12/200 is the right, under UNCLOS, for all coastal States.

    There are tons of money to be made off the U.S. coast.

    We are not discussing “off the U.S. coast”. We are talking about an existing nation building artificial islands as a way to extend it’s territorial waters and EEZ. To do this they would not be building them off the coast, but hundreds of nautical miles out to see in the most barren of places where there is nothing of any value. Anyway, I doubt they are “ignorant”. The reason there aren’t dozens of large floating islands up-and-down the U.S. coast is because it isn’t cost effective.

    ICBMs by country

    Come on, you know I’m not talking about security and defense against an ICBM strike. You might as well list aircraft carriers, or subs. I’m talking about security and defense against the kind of threat most seasteads will face…pirates and other criminals of the sea. For that I think a 12nm range is perfect. Plenty of time for my patrol boats to intercept.

    I am steaming

    I would let you pass, because Article 17 of UNCLOS gives all flagged vessels the right to “innocent passage through the territorial sea”. I would probably send a patrol boat out to keep an eye on you. And if you were unflagged I would have the right to treat you like I would any pirate vessel. But as long as you maintain your “continuous and expeditious” passage through my territorial seas I must let you go.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    I will send one of my patrol boats to keep an eye on your patrol boat. I will also advise The Elected Council that you have an invalid claim of soveragnity on the high seas. I will expect that our Ambassador at the U.N will fill a protest.

    Profile photo of wohl1917

    we end up having an arms race in miniature involving patrol boats when the sensible thing would have been to do as Ocean suggested: use the radio… The reality of the world we live in is this: if we acquired or even attempted to acquire weapons or weapons systems that would enable us to defend ourselves against say, the Mongolian Navy (a land-locked nation which to the best of my knowledge doesn’t have a Navy, a 12nm limit or a 200nm EEZ), the nearest Macro-Nation would declare us to be ‘terrorists’, sail out and put an end to us in very short order.

    Also, the US and other countries that have them, already control the continental shelves out as far out as they go EEZs not with standing…they don’t have to build ‘islands’.

    Good math DM8954!

    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith

    Just for the fun of it and as a reference… here’s some math for you

    For me it’s not really an issue of spotting someone, it’s the time I have to intercept. If a large pirate vessel is moving at 24 knots I have 30 minutes from the moment they hit my 12nm boundary before they reach my seastead. That gives me plenty of time and space to respond. I’m not too worried about spotting them, either, since I plan to use something like the GMR-24 marine radar from Garmin that has a 48nm maximum range. No surprises for me!

    I will expect that our Ambassador at the U.N will fill a protest.

    So we’ll get the lawyers and politicians involved now? Talk about an arms race. If you are unflagged I have every right to believe you are a pirate vessel and act accordingly…even if we are on the high seas and not in my territorial boundary. Sending a boat out to make sure you aren’t engaged in transporting slaves is my right…actually, my duty…under UNCLOS rules.

    invalid claim of soveragnity on the high seas.

    Again, I am not claiming to have sovereignty over the high seas. I am only claiming sovereignty over the 12nm given to all coastal states in UNCLOS. My seastead is a state, meeting all four requirements under the Montevideo Convention. I am coastal, having an “adjacent belt of sea”. So therefore, under UNCLOS, I can claim a 12nm territorial sea. That 452 sq nm circle around my seastead is no more the high seas than any other piece of water less than 12nm from any other nation’s coast.

    declare us to be ‘terrorists’,

    That’s why I advocate the “loud and proud” seastead formation path, making sure we announce our presence and intentions to any and all media outlets around the globe.

    Profile photo of DM8954

    i_is_j_smith wrote:

    invalid claim of soveragnity on the high seas.

    Again, I am not claiming to have sovereignty over the high seas. I am only claiming sovereignty over the 12nm given to all coastal states in UNCLOS. My seastead is a state, meeting all four requirements under the Montevideo Convention. I am coastal, having an “adjacent belt of sea”. So therefore, under UNCLOS, I can claim a 12nm territorial sea. That 452 sq nm circle around my seastead is no more the high seas than any other piece of water less than 12nm from any other nation’s coast.

    The coast is defined as where the land meets the sea. The term “coastal zone” is a spatial zone where interaction of the sea and land processes occurs. Since an artificial structure, even if anchored securely or built solidly on the ocen floor, is not land. This is why I’ve mentioned repeatedly that artificial structures, even artificial islands have no effect on maritime boundaries. If you don’t have naturally formed land, you don’t have a coast and therefore are not a costal state. You may easily have met all 4 of the requirements for statehood but not the requirements of a natural landmass adjacent to the ocean.

    I understand your point that the water around a nation is not high seas but rather territorial water… but the point I’ve yet been unable to explain to my own satisfaction is that you still haven’t met the requirement of claiming and occupying a natural landmass above sea level at high tide. Maybe you’ve already understood this point of mine and have likewise been unable to explain your counter-argument in a way that I fully grasp. If so, I look forward to that moment of realization. It’s not great news and I don’t really like it, myself, but that doesn’t change the facts of the matter as I understand them right now.

    Perhaps, after establishing statehood, it could be argued that our special circumstances are preventing us from claiming all the rights granted to all other nations with access to the ocean. Whether we get a 12nm ‘safety zone’ instead or a full declaration of ‘territorial waters’ (perhaps including a size compromise), I do hope we’ll get the space required for proper defense at some point.

    A highly unlikey solution to this lack of landmass, which someone should probably post in the “Dreaming / Crazy Ideas / Speculation” section, might be to find a way to drill, blast, or in some other way trigger the formation of a new volcano. You know, get the kind of fantasy drilling device that lets sci-fi movie heros drill to the center of the earth and plant nukes to help restart a dying world. It may take a while, but several years of continuous lava flow (maybe even controlled for maximum steepness) might be able to send a shaft of rock up to poke up above the surface on our behalf. Hopefully, the unnaturally rapid loss of heat in the mantle wouldn’t trigger unforeseen techtonic shifts that threaten to destroy the planet. Hmmm… I bet Sci-Fi… ahem, I mean “SyFy Channel” would buy that script. Seasteaders, desperate for soverignty, accidentally threaten the world. I just need a cheezy title and the script will be half written.

    Good Marketing and Public Relations efforts will certainly help to keep you from being blown out of the water without a very good excuse. As long as your PR people are good enough, you should be safe for a while. Then again, the “War for Oil”… I mean, “On Terror” has gone on quite a while with a great marketing campaign of its own. They could always claim we’re dangerous, blow us out of the water, and then claim that they honestly thought we were dangerous. Haha. I’m only half joking on that, unfortunately. It’s going to take quite a balancing act to find our place in the world without major casualties. Public Relations and being a benefit to those around us will be important tools along the way.

    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith

    Maybe you’ve already understood this point of mine

    I understand you believe that land…physical, dirty, hard, terra firma…is required for a State to claim the 12/200 accorded by UNCLOS. I maintain that there is still some ambiguity about what you can call “land”.

    First off, the Montevideo Convention never uses the word “land”. It uses “territory”, which I contend can mean ocean area. In this case, a seastead could be considered a nation under the Montevideo Convention, even though it posses no actual “land”.

    Second, we have UNCLOS. It uses the words “coastal State”, “land territory”, etc. I agree that the usual use of the word “coast” is where the land meets the sea. But what is “land”, really? If I import sand and make a beach all around my seastead, and that sand touches the water, is that “coastal”? If not, why? Because nature didn’t put it there? I contend that the word “land” can be used to define any large, physical mass upon which a large number of people make a permanent habitation. It does not need to be immovable…continents are moving, after all…albiet at a very slow speed…but it’s position should be highly stable. Using this definition you could say a very large, permanently anchored seastead housing several hundred permanent residents is “land”.

    Now if you disagree with my contention, there are other things to think about. What if I ship several massive cargo-loads of huge stone blocks to the Walters Shoal and dump them overboard…making a pile just high enough to poke above the water at high tide. Is that “land”? What if I dump tons of metal slag or plastic waste? You mention the volcano example…does it have to be something that is a continuation of the seabed?

    I think this a very important matter, because the ability of a seastead to become its own nation is VITAL. As has already been discussed in other threads, we cannot experiment with new forms of government if we are all floating around on seasteads flagged under another nation, bound by their laws and politics. We must be free to make our own laws, and if we cannot form new nations because the international community says “you don’t own land” then this whole thing is a waste of time.

    Profile photo of DM8954

    I think we’re finally both on the same page, then. …or close enough, anyways.

    As I said, I feel that it’s pretty clear that we meet the four requirements for the Montevideo Convention. We should technically have no problem becoming a legitimate nation under those requirements. So, I don’t think we’d be wasting our time, since legitimate statehood is within our reach. However, under UNCLOS, we would have a hard time getting around all those references to artificial islands and platforms. It wouldn’t prevent statehood but it would make arguing for our fair share of territorial waters quite a bit more difficult. We’d essentially be treated much more like a landlocked country with a massive shipping fleet than a small island nation. It’s not ideal by any means but still well worth the effort, in my opinion.

    I desperately hope that an argument such as yours could be used to claim that 12nm and even the 200nm but it really seems to be strongly worded out of our favor.

    I also agree that “artificial island” is pretty vague terminology with quite a wide range of possibilities between natural and artificial. Natural stone or sand piled up; a sea wall built to block currents and ‘naturally’ build up sediment over time; a ‘natural’ volcanic island triggered by man-made events; etc. They’re all gray area. It seems to me that the intent of the wording was to imply permenance, not necessarily strictly natural processes.

    Aha! A great example to look into would be Holland. They must have a 12nm zone, yet a large portion of their land was reclaimed from the sea. If their territory doesn’t begin at the old, natural coastline, then we have a foothold to help our argument that ‘artificial land’ has been used in the past to determine the 12nm boundary. That’s certainly worth looking into.

    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith

    It seems to me that the intent of the wording was to imply permenance

    This is my understanding as well, which is why I would hope a large enough seastead fixed in one place would be accepted as “land”. I really wish TSI knew a lawyer familiar with UNCLOS that they could bounce these ideas off of….hint hint wink wink.

    A great example to look into would be Holland

    Unfortunately this won’t help us too much. All of the land that Holland has reclaimed is in the center of the country…taken from an interior lake. What was once a large inner water area is now Flevoland…the country’s 12th province. This certainly does advance the notion that the seabed can be built up artifically and then be claimed as land…so your volcano example would work or even my “dump-a-mess-of-rock-on-a-seamount” plan. But since all this reclaimed land was interior there is no way to apply this example to the establishment of a territorial water or EEZ boundary.

    We might have better luck in examining some of the paragraphs in Article 7 of UNCLOS, which talks about drawing territorial water baselines in unusual circumstances. I particularly like “Where because of the presence of a delta and other natural conditions the coastline is highly unstable, the appropriate points may be selected along the furthest seaward extent of the low-water line.” So there is precedent for using areas other than the high-tide levels for generating the 12nm boundary. But this is still really splitting hairs when applying it to a seastead.

    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith

    I’ve been doing a little more digging into UNCLOS and the artificial island thing. I’m beginning to think that classifying a seastead as an “artificial island” might not work…it might be considered more of an “installation”. The other bad news is that it seems any man-made island, whether it be piling rocks on a seamount or dumping sand on a reef, would be considered an “artificial island” and therefore not allowed any territorial waters or EEZ.

    I’ve been looking into several artificial islands around the world, from the Palm Islands in Dubai to the Northstar Island in Alaska. Both of these were made by dumping fill into the ocean and building it up above sea level to create a new island…hence an “artificial island”. Neither of these structures had any impact on the territorial waters of their host nation…even though they extend out quite a bit, even 12 miles in the case of Northstar.

    Maybe there is some room for legal wrangling, since these are islands built by an existing nation and a seastead would be its own nation…but that is REALLY splitting hairs. I guess the seastead nation could just refuse to sign UNCLOS and claim whatever ocean territory it wanted…there are many nations who claim all kinds of things and get away with it. If our claims were small…like the 12nm/50nm I mention or even smaller…and located someplace where noone wanted to be then we might get away with it. Looks like the 500m safety zone, authorized by UNCLOS for installations on the high seas, might be all we can legally claim.

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    The reason why platforms and artificial islands aren’t treated as territory is that if they were, an existing nation could just keep building a series of platforms or artificial islands further out to sea to expand their territory and territorial waters indefinitely, say until they hit the next continent or island. The UK. and Norway would have touching territories due to their North Sea oil platforms, etc.

    Profile photo of Eelco

    True, the mention of permanent installations and any unspecified economic activity in the EEZ bothers me a lot as well. Technically, youre not safe in the EEZ: if the nation doesnt like you, they can kick you out of their EEZ, with Un backing, without having to really stretch UNCLOS at all.

    Youd either need good or neutral relations with the EEZ youre in, or an area with many nearly EEZ’s, so you can shop around.

    Profile photo of

    Or don’t be in an EEZ.

    Profile photo of Eelco

    Jeff wrote:

    Or don’t be in an EEZ.

    Possible, but not very appealing if you have hardly anything resembling an internal economy yet.

    But as long as you dont, you are probably too small fish for the host nation to bother, and when you do, you can always move out, yes.

    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith

    an existing nation could just keep building a series of platforms or artificial islands

    I covered this in an earlier posting. I’m not talking about small oil-rig-sized platforms here. I’m talking about a monolithic structure with thousands of permanent residents. Existing nations will not build chains of these huge platforms to extend the EEZ because there is no economic incentive. A platform like this will cost hundreds of millions if not billions in the end. To build a string of these just to extend their EEZ so they can claim fishing rights is not something they will do.

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