One of the major novelties of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982 is the legitimizing of coastal State claims to large areas of continental margins in all oceans by virtue of Article 76. In addition to exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of 200 nautical miles, coastal States whose continental margins extend beyond the EEZ limit are able to further claim the seabed and subsoil beyond the EEZ limit to 350 nautical miles from the base lines of the territorial sea or 100 nautical miles from the 2,500 metre isobath. The UN Convention established a procedure for this purpose, commencing with scientific and technical submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf established in the treaty. To date, the Commission has received 65 submissions and a further 45 communications containing preliminary information.
Aldo Chircop, "Equity on the Extended Continental Shelf? How an Obscure Provision in UNCLOS Provides New Challenges for Ocean Governance" (Paper delivered at Good Governance for Sustainable Marine Development Cascais, Portugal, June 3 to 5, 2013).