Bangladesh's Extended Continental Shelf: Navigating the Course with India and Myanmar

Sreeradha Datta is Research Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
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  • September 2010

    The Bay of Bengal is the largest bay off the coast of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. With the exception of Bangladesh all the littoral states have reached agreements over their bilateral maritime boundaries. As signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, India and Myanmar had to file their claims by June 29, 2009 and by May 21, 2009 respectively, and Bangladesh has to file its claim by July 27, 2011 to the Commission on the limits of the continental shelf. In recent years there has been a sudden spurt of marine economic activities by all the states in their adjacent waters, as each wished to maximise its options and stake their claims on the rich natural resources. This article identifies the differences that Bangladesh has with India and Myanmar over shared maritime boundaries, and the factors that are hindering the resolution of the issue.