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Portugal is Sea began in 2017 as a research project focused on the Portuguese attempt to extend the national territory through the ocean floor: The Extension of the Continental Shelf.

In May 2009, Portugal submitted its Continental Shelf Extension proposal to the United Nations. It claimed for a new area of jurisdiction that is over 4 million km2. This means, if Portugal succeeds, 97% of the country will be under the ocean. The strength of the Portuguese proposal rests on one crucial argument: the new area claimed constitutes “the natural" extension of the national territory.


While the country waits for the decision of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), linking Portugal and the Portuguese to the ocean depths is gaining momentum. Terrestrial modes of thinking and living merge with the oceanic national-making. 



Portugal is Sea researches ethnographically the rise and agency of concepts, facts, ideas, imaginaries, practices related to the modern politics of ocean territorialization. 


As the project evolves, new questions and new interests emerge.

Get in touch to be involved in the project or simply to know more about it.

Portugal is Sea is based at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, and lead by João Afonso Baptista.​

This project has received funding from the Portuguese National Funding Agency for Science, Research and Technology (FCT).

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