Thursday, April 10, 2008

Japan uses coral to define international border

In what is the largest coral fragging project in the world, Japan is using living coral to lay claim to parts of the Pacific over 200 miles from their shore.

Started in 2006, the Japanese government has budgeted 7.55 million dollars to collect, reproduce and grow more than 100,000 fast growing acropora fragments about the size of a finger.


Japan is using these fragments to fortify small islets, that they claim are islands, from erosion.

According to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, if these are "real" islands, not just outcroppings as the Chinese government claims, Japan's control over the Pacific would extend another 200 nautical miles.

Even though Japan is using the coral to expand their share of the ocean, the research that they are doing is proving beneficial to help save coral reefs around the world.