Carnegie, the underwater mountain range which Ecuador seeks to use to expand its continental shelf

July 29, 2020 – 06h35

As a result of the presence again of a gigantic fishing fleet, mainly Chinese, in the seas of the South Pacific, investigations are accelerated that would allow to extend the maritime continental shelf of Ecuador to 350 nautical miles. This would prevent the presence of foreign fishing fleets in the international water corridor, located between the island and continental exclusive economic zones.
Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrín indicated on Monday that this year the investigation in the Carnegie submarine mountain range will conclude and that progress is being made in the investigation of the Cocos – Galapagos submarine mountain range to expand the Ecuadorian maritime continental shelf.

Jarrín reported that the oceanographic investigation of the Carnegie mountain range (which connects the continent with the Galapagos Islands) is 70% advanced (with 156 trips); and this year the investigation of the other is concluded, although to a lesser extent. The latter has an advance of 46 days, in coordination with Costa Rica.

The 350 miles of the continental shelf are recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Convemar), of which Ecuador has been a party since 2012. The member countries of this international instrument have ten years to request this extension from from adherence to the Convention, after the scientific study of a committee.

There are two years left for Ecuador to technically sustain before the United Nations that, for example, the Carnegie mountain range leaves the Galapagos Islands towards the mainland. If this is achieved, the country could increase 250,000 square kilometers of continental shelf, almost equivalent to what is today the continental Ecuadorian territory.

Carnegie, Colon and Cocos

The Carnegie Mountain Range is an not seismic mountain range of volcanic origin, whose origin is due to the interaction of the Galapagos hot spot and the Nazca – Cocos center of divergence, which extended latitudinally from from 600 to 50 miles from the continent.

The Colón Range, formerly known as the Cocos-Nazca elevation, is a continuation of the center of divergence of the Galapagos and the Darwin and Wolf submarine lineaments. Its origin is associated with the influence of the Galapagos hotspot in this expansion center, generally with depths less than 1800 m.

The Coco Submarine Range a not seismic mountain range of volcanic origin whose extension reaches subduction in the Costa Rica area, its formation is the product of the center of divergence and the hot spot of the Galapagos. In this mountain range is the maritime boundary with Costa Rica.

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
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