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 classic literature ?
After this signal act of vengeance, Captain Metcalf sailed from Mowee, and made for the island of Owyhee, where he was well received by Tamaahmaah.
They directed their course towards the Solomon Islands, and there perished, with everything, on the westerly coast of the chief island of the group, between Capes Deception and Satisfaction.
They made signs for me to come down from the rock, and go towards the shore, which I accordingly did; and the flying island being raised to a convenient height, the verge directly over me, a chain was let down from the lowest gallery, with a seat fastened to the bottom, to which I fixed myself, and was drawn up by pulleys.
I CAN never forget the eighteen or twenty days during which the light trade-winds were silently sweeping us towards the islands.
The men were no less than Kerick Booterin, the chief of the seal-hunters on the island, and Patalamon, his son.
Thei numbers have rapidly decreased; they are already banishe from that half of the island which lies to the eastward o the neck of land between St.
Now I looked back upon my desolate, solitary island as the most pleasant place in the world and all the happiness my heart could wish for was to be but there again.
So then the Doctor and all his animals went off, carrying pails and saucepans, to look for water on the island, while the swallows took their rest.
The captain yielded to these suggestions, and the Resolute was headed for the island of Koumbeni.
But after some preliminary remarks, I will discuss a few of the most striking classes of facts; namely, the existence of the same species on the summits of distant mountain-ranges, and at distant points in the arctic and antarctic regions; and secondly (in the following chapter), the wide distribution of freshwater productions; and thirdly, the occurrence of the same terrestrial species on islands and on the mainland, though separated by hundreds of miles of open sea.
At his death the wife went back across the loch to her own people, and the blot on the escutcheon of Island McGill was erased.
The water was three or four foot deep on the island in the low places and on the Illinois bottom.