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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.


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 ?
Eventually too ill for life in the streets, Tenko returns to the volcanic island where she grew up.
Ischia, an volcanic island about a one-hour ferry ride from Naples, is popular with German tourists.
Due to its continued eruption, Niijima merged with its sister volcanic island, Nishino-shima.
To be sure, plumes may not explain every volcanic island and seamount (see box, p.
A MAN-MADE rain forest that sprung up by accident on a barren volcanic island in only 150 years is baffling scientists, it was revealed today.
And now the biggest man in Fox Company was hefting his 28-pound Browning automatic rifle onto Saipan - a volcanic island fortress southeast of Japan.
Just 8 meters (26 feet) below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, a volcanic island sunken for more than 170 years may burst out of the water and blow its top, says Italian volcano expert Enzo Boschi.
1, 2000, evacuation of all islanders from the volcanic island, some 200 kilometers south of Tokyo, most students have now transferred on to schools near the new homes of their parents.
Since about 80 percent of the lowlands on the volcanic island had already been logged, and about one-third of its higher plants are found nowhere else, the contract spelled doom for many unique plants and animals.
They are expected to spend most of the week on the volcanic island with their three children but are due to return to Britain in time for Good Friday.
1957 A new volcanic island appeared off Fayal Island in the Azores.
Washington, June 30 (ANI): Scientists have discovered a unique species of a thumb-sized bat in a volcanic island in Africa's Comoros chain.