The Contribution of Marine Cartographers to the Efficient Management of Immigration Flows (In Greek with English abstract)

TitleThe Contribution of Marine Cartographers to the Efficient Management of Immigration Flows (In Greek with English abstract)
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
AuthorsKastrisios, C, Tsoulos, L
Conference Name14th Hellenic Cartographic Conference
Conference DatesNovember 2-4
PublisherHellenic Cartographic Society (HCS)
Conference LocationThessaloniki, Greece
KeywordsImmigration, Maritime Limits and boundaries, Methods of maritime delimitation

A huge immigration crisis has been unfolding in the Mediterranean region in recent years, forcing the countries involved to draw up agreements and take measures for the reception and prevention of immigration flows in the area. The study of information from the past decade shows that cooperation agreements among the states concerned contribute to the limitation of flow and human trafficking. Both the agreements and the operations conducted by the naval forces are based on geospatial data, a key element of which is the maritime boundaries of the states in the area of interest. Although it is current, the issue of immigration is not recent. It has been a repeated concern of the international community and as such, it was included in the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The UNCLOS stipulates the delimitation of maritime zones, which involve a number of rights and obligations for the coastal State. In this sense, the territorial sea and contiguous zone extending from the outer limit of the territorial sea to 24 n.m. from the baselines become of particular interest. In the contiguous zone, as well as in the territorial sea where the State exercises full sovereignty, the coastal State is entitled to legislate for the purpose of immigration control -among other things- a task that begins at sea and continues on its land areas. To control immigration, it is important to accurately determine and define the pertinent maritime zones in accordance with the UNCLOS provisions, a task that falls under the purview of cartographers. The process is complex and, besides the cartographic background, requires knowledge of the delimitation methods and the use of specialized software. This paper presents the main parameters affecting the cartographer’s objective, the delimitation methods, the existing specialized software, its capabilities and limitations as well as the ongoing effort to address its weaknesses.