Island

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Island

A land area surrounded by water and remaining above sea level during high tide.

Land areas exposed only during low tide are called low-tide elevations or drying rocks, reefs, or shoals. The existence of islands has generated numerous disputes, centering primarily on the size of the territorial sea surrounding an island and the determination of what state has sovereignty over a particular island. The size of the territorial sea has become an important question affecting fishing rights and the right of unrestricted passage for foreign vessels. Although the territorial sea of an island is usually determined by reference to its coastal baseline, some adjustments have been recognized in the cases of archipelagoes and islands located close to the mainland.

Determination of what state has title to an island has traditionally depended upon an open and continuous assertion of sovereignty over the island, which is usually, but not always, accompanied by physical presence of some representative of the state.

Cross-references

Territorial Waters.

See: isolate

ISLAND. A piece of land surrounded by water.
     2. Islands are in the sea or in rivers. Those in the sea are either in the open sea, or within the boundary of some country.
     3. When new islands arise in the open sea, they belong to the first occupant: but when they are newly formed so near the shore as to be within the boundary of some state, they belong to that state.
     4. Islands which arise in rivets when in the middle of the stream, belong in equal parts to the riparian proprietors when they arise. mostly on one side, they will belong to the riparian owners up to the middle of the stream. Bract. lib. 2, c. 2; Fleta, lib. 3, c. 2, s. 6; 2 Bl. 261; 1 Swift's Dig. 111; Schult. Aq. R. 117; Woolr. on Waters: 38; 4 Pick. R. 268; Dougl. R. 441; 10 Wend. 260; 14 S. & R. 1. For the law of Louisiana, see Civil Code, art. 505, 507.
     5. The doctrine of the common law on this subject, founded on reason, seems to have been borrowed from the civil law. Vide Inst. 2, 1, 22; Dig. 41, 1, 7; Code, 7; 41, 1.

References in periodicals archive ?
Prince William joined Royal Navy teams in the exercise on the volcanic island of Montserrat.
Helens, which reawakened in 2004; Hawaii's Kilauea, which has been continuously active since early in 1983; and Anatahan, a volcanic island about 320 kilometers north of Guam that rumbled to life from dormancy in May 2003.
Guadalupe, a volcanic island 160 miles off the Pacific coast of Mexico, rises out of the sea like a mini-Hawaiian island - at least the dry side.
Enzo Boschi believes Ferdinandea, the sunken volcanic island, may be primed to re-emerge because
Students evacuated from the volcanic island of Miyakejima following eruptions there last year on Monday morning attended an opening ceremony for second-semester classes in Akiruno, western Tokyo.
Another company wanted to store 35,000 barrels of "unspecified waste" on a volcanic island off Tongs.
In addition, the Company has several exploration prospects along the eastern and central portions of the Toodoggone volcanic island arc.
IF you REALLY fancy a holiday to get away from it all, how about a tiny volcanic island 1,000 miles out in the Atlantic where the most regular visitors are whales?
Arguably the most famous is the Villa Comunale, previously known as the Royal Garden, which was built for Bourbon king Ferdinand IV in the 1780s, while Parco Virgiliano looks out over the tiny volcanic island of Nisida.
It is the latest adventure for Mark's vessel which is back in the Tyne after two voyages to the Norwegian volcanic island of Jan Meyen, between Iceland and the North Pole.
Shintaro Ishihara said Friday that some of those evacuated from the volcanic island of Miyakejima in the Izu island chain following volcanic eruptions last year will be allowed to briefly visit their homes next month.
Police were searching for further damage on the volcanic island after spotting at least four rockslides.