By M. W. Mouton (auth.)
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Additional info for The Continental Shelf
We pointed out that for the time being the technical possibilities are far below the average depth of the edge of 130 metres, let alone the depth of 200 metres, and also that the nature of the edge and that of the slope make working there quite impossible for a long time to come. The Commission makes this condition into the main criterion and ties the two criteria together in saying: "where the depth of the super-jacent waters admits of the exploitation of the natural resources". In note 5 it explains further: "It follows that areas in which exploitation is not technically possible by reason of the depth of the waters are excluded from the continental shelf here referred to".
We may wind up this section by saying that the difference in width of the continental shelf was not the reason why the International Law Commission decided to state in its Report 14, p. 22: "that it would be unjust to countries having no continental shelf, if the granting of the right in question were made dependent on the existence of such a shelf". First of all because the expression "submarine areas" used in the Report was suggested by Hudson 25 , p. 7, on the consideration, that "the principle of shallow waters was broader than that of the continental shelf".
The same principle is suggested on p. 68 and 70 in the case of the transgression-theory, which we have dealth with speaking about "submerged lands", and we are afraid that this construction would not help us out either, as long as scientists cannot produce a generally accepted and scientifically proved history of the continental shelf. A question connected with the history is the composition of the shelf and the probabilities of the occurrence of oil. Here the geologists have given us very promising predictions, which have partly already been shown in practice to have been justified.