The eastern maritime boundary between the United States and Canada
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The easternmost part of the United States is separated from Canada by an imaginary line in the ocean. The oceanic boundary is evidence of the extensive marine heritage of the state of Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The International Court of Justice at The Hague (the "World Court") recently handed down a decision which extended the boundary line across the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. The action was intended to resolve a longstanding controversy our fishing rights on Georges Bank (Eos, 65, (45), p. 801, 1984). The extension of the line adds a modern chapter to a maritime boundary dispute which is older than the government of either nation. The controversy is rooted in imprecise language used in the Treaty of Paris, which officially separated the nascent United States from Great Britain in 1783. Faced with sorting out the implications of the recent boundary decision, it is well to recall and perhaps benefit from the long history of related events, most of which had serious economic and personal consequences for residents on each side of the border. 1984. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
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