According to the application, Canada's continental shelf covers around 1.2 million square kilometres (over 460,000 square miles).
"After more than a decade’s worth of scientific and legal work to determine the limits of Canada's undersea landmass in the Arctic, Canada today filed a 2,100‑page submission with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf at United Nations headquarters in New York", a statement, published on the ministry's official website late on Thursday, said.
"Canada is committed to furthering its leadership in the Arctic. Defining our continental shelf is vital to ensuring our sovereignty and to serving the interests of all people, including Indigenous peoples, in the Arctic. Today's submission is a major step toward securing legal and international recognition of the outer limits of Canada's continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean", Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland stated.
After the boundaries of Canada's continental shelf are officially recognized by the commission, the country will be entitled to manage natural resources in the area.
"It does not represent a political boundary. As it is based on science, the submission overlaps in some areas with the submissions of other Arctic Ocean coastal states. All Arctic Ocean coastal states have committed to resolving continental shelf overlaps in a peaceful and orderly manner in accordance with international law", the statement said.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the continental shelf of all coastal countries extends 200 nautical miles from the baseline. At the same time, some nations can have an extended, or outer continental shelf, if it is a prolongation of their land territories.