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French Southern Territories

French Southern Territories

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The French Southern and Antarctic Lands , full name Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (French: Territoire des Terres australes et antarctiques françaises), consist of:
  1. Kerguelen (Archipel des Kerguelen), a group of volcanic
    Volcano
    2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

     island
    Island
    An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

    s in the southern Indian Ocean
    Indian Ocean
    The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

    , southeast of Africa
    Africa
    Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

    , approximately equidistant between Africa, Antarctica and Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    ;
  2. St. Paul
    Île Saint-Paul
    Île Saint-Paul is an island forming part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands in the Indian Ocean, with an area of . It is located about southwest of the larger Île Amsterdam, and south of Réunion...

     and Amsterdam
    Île Amsterdam
    New Amsterdam, Amsterdam Island, or Île Amsterdam is a French island in the Indian Ocean located at . It is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.- History :...

     islands (Îles Saint Paul et Amsterdam), a group to the north of Kerguelen;
  3. Crozet Islands (Îles Crozet), a group in the southern Indian Ocean, south of Madagascar;
  4. Adélie Land
    Adélie Land
    Adélie Land is the portion of the Antarctic coast between 136° E and 142° E , with a shore length of 350 km and with its hinterland extending as a sector about 2,600 km toward the South Pole. It is claimed by France as one of five districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, although not...

     (Terre Adélie), the French claim on the Antarctica continent;
  5. the Scattered Islands
    Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean
    The Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean consist of four small coral islands, an atoll, and a reef in the Indian Ocean, and have constituted the 5th district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands since February 2007. They have no permanent population...

     (Îles Éparses), a dispersed group of islands around the coast of Madagascar
    Madagascar
    The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

    .

The territory is also often called the French Southern Lands or French Southern Territories, which excludes Adélie Land
Adélie Land
Adélie Land is the portion of the Antarctic coast between 136° E and 142° E , with a shore length of 350 km and with its hinterland extending as a sector about 2,600 km toward the South Pole. It is claimed by France as one of five districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, although not...

 where French sovereignty is not recognized internationally. The lands are not connected to France Antarctique
France Antarctique
France Antarctique was a French colony south of the Equator, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which existed between 1555 and 1567, and had control over the coast from Rio de Janeiro to Cabo Frio...

, a former French colony in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

.

The territory has no permanent population; the population consists of military personnel, civilian officials, scientific researchers and support staff. Some of the territory's exclusive economic zone
Exclusive Economic Zone
Under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including production of energy from water and wind. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical...

 is of great importance for fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

.

Administration


The French Southern and Antarctic Lands have formed a territoire d'outre-mer
Territoire d'outre-mer
The term overseas territory , is an administrative division of France and is currently only applied to the French Southern and Antarctic Lands....

(an overseas territory) of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 since 1955. Formerly, they were administered from Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 by an administrateur supérieur assisted by a secretary-general; since December 2004, however, their administrator has been a préfet
Préfet
A prefect in France is the State's representative in a department or region. Sub-prefects are responsible for the subdivisions of departments, arrondissements...

, currently Rollon Mouchel-Blaisot, with headquarters in Saint-Pierre
Saint-Pierre, Réunion
Saint-Pierre is the third-largest commune in the French overseas department of Réunion. It is located on the southwest side of the island of Réunion.-External links:*...

 on Réunion Island
Réunion
Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about south west of Mauritius, the nearest island.Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France...

.

The territory is divided into five districts:
District Capital Winter Population Summer Population Area
(km²)
EEZ
(km²)
Îles Saint Paul
Île Saint-Paul
Île Saint-Paul is an island forming part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands in the Indian Ocean, with an area of . It is located about southwest of the larger Île Amsterdam, and south of Réunion...

 et Amsterdam
Île Amsterdam
New Amsterdam, Amsterdam Island, or Île Amsterdam is a French island in the Indian Ocean located at . It is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.- History :...

 
Martin-de-Viviès
Martin-de-Viviès
Martin-de-Viviès, is the only settlement of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands territory of Amsterdam and St Paul Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. It lies on the north coast of Amsterdam Island and houses about 20 scientists and staff....

 
25 45 61 502,533
Archipel Crozet  Alfred Faure
Alfred Faure
Alfred-Faure or Port Alfred is a permanent French scientific station on Île de la Possession of the Crozet Islands. It is located at on the eastern side of the island. The station is situated on a plateau 460 ft above sea level. Depending on the season, there are between 15-60 personnel working...

 
25 45 352 567,475
Archipel des Kerguelen  Port-aux-Français
Port-aux-Français
Port-aux-Français is the capital settlement of the Kerguelen Islands, French territory in the south Indian Ocean. The port station is located on the Gulf of Morbihan, at . It has about 60 winter inhabitants, which can rise to more than 120 in summer....

 
70 110 7,215 563,869
Terre Adélie
Adélie Land
Adélie Land is the portion of the Antarctic coast between 136° E and 142° E , with a shore length of 350 km and with its hinterland extending as a sector about 2,600 km toward the South Pole. It is claimed by France as one of five districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, although not...

 
Dumont d'Urville Station
Dumont d'Urville Station
The Dumont d'Urville Station is a French scientific station located in Antarctica on Île des Pétrels, archipelago of Pointe Géologie in Adélie Land. It is named after explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville...

 
30 110 432,000 -
Îles Éparses
Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean
The Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean consist of four small coral islands, an atoll, and a reef in the Indian Ocean, and have constituted the 5th district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands since February 2007. They have no permanent population...

(1)
Saint-Pierre
Saint-Pierre, Réunion
Saint-Pierre is the third-largest commune in the French overseas department of Réunion. It is located on the southwest side of the island of Réunion.-External links:*...

(2)
56 56 38.6 593,276
TAAF Saint-Pierre
Saint-Pierre, Réunion
Saint-Pierre is the third-largest commune in the French overseas department of Réunion. It is located on the southwest side of the island of Réunion.-External links:*...

(3)
150 310 439,781 2,274,277


(1)According to new law 2007-224 of February 21, 2007 Scattered Islands constitute the 5th district of TAAF http://www.taaf.fr/rubriques/iles/iles_introduction.htm. The website of the TAAF do not mention their population. The data are not included in the totals.

(2)The main station on the Îles Éparses is on Tromelin
Tromelin Island
Tromelin Island is a low, flat 0.8-square-kilometre island in the Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar . There are no harbours or anchorages and access by sea is difficult. The island has a 1,200-metre airstrip. It is a French territory...

. The headquarters of the district chief, Saint Pierre, on Réunion Island
Réunion
Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about south west of Mauritius, the nearest island.Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France...

, is located outside the TAAF.


(3)The main station of the territory is Martin-de-Viviès
Martin-de-Viviès
Martin-de-Viviès, is the only settlement of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands territory of Amsterdam and St Paul Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. It lies on the north coast of Amsterdam Island and houses about 20 scientists and staff....

 on Amsterdam
Île Amsterdam
New Amsterdam, Amsterdam Island, or Île Amsterdam is a French island in the Indian Ocean located at . It is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.- History :...

. The capital and headquarters of the administrator of the territory, Saint Pierre, on Réunion Island
Réunion
Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about south west of Mauritius, the nearest island.Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France...

, is located outside the TAAF.


Each district is headed by a district chief, which has powers similar to those of a French mayor (including recording births and deaths and being an officer of judicial police).

Because there is no permanent population, there is no elected assembly, nor does the territory send representatives to the national parliament.

Geography




The territory includes Île Amsterdam
Île Amsterdam
New Amsterdam, Amsterdam Island, or Île Amsterdam is a French island in the Indian Ocean located at . It is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.- History :...

, Île Saint-Paul
Île Saint-Paul
Île Saint-Paul is an island forming part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands in the Indian Ocean, with an area of . It is located about southwest of the larger Île Amsterdam, and south of Réunion...

, Îles Crozet, and Îles Kerguelen in the southern Indian Ocean near 43°S, 67°E, along with the French-claimed sector of Antarctica, Adélie Land
Adélie Land
Adélie Land is the portion of the Antarctic coast between 136° E and 142° E , with a shore length of 350 km and with its hinterland extending as a sector about 2,600 km toward the South Pole. It is claimed by France as one of five districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, although not...

, named by French explorer
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

 Jules Dumont d'Urville
Jules Dumont d'Urville
Jules Sébastien César Dumont d'Urville was a French explorer, naval officer and rear admiral, who explored the south and western Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica.-Childhood:Dumont was born at Condé-sur-Noireau...

 after his wife.

The "Adélie Land" of about 432,000 km² and the islands, totalling 7781 km², have no indigenous inhabitants, though in 1997 there were about 100 researchers whose numbers varied from winter (July) to summer (January).

Île Amsterdam and Île Saint-Paul are extinct volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

es and have been delineated as the Amsterdam and Saint-Paul Islands temperate grasslands
Amsterdam and Saint-Paul Islands temperate grasslands
The Amsterdam and Saint-Paul Islands temperate grasslands is an ecoregion comprising two volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean. The only way to visit the islands is on the French research vessel Marion Dufresne II which services the Martin-de-Viviès research station on Amsterdam...

 ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

. The highest point in the territory is Mont Ross on Îles Kerguelen at 1850 meters. There are no airstrips on the islands and the 1232 kilometres of coastline have no ports or harbours, only offshore anchorages.
The islands in the Indian Ocean are supplied by the special ship Marion Dufresne sailing out of Le Port
Le Port, Réunion
Le Port is a commune in the French overseas department of Réunion. It is located at the extreme northwest corner of the island of Réunion. In the 1999 census, Le Port had a population of 38,412...

 in Réunion Island. Terre Adélie is supplied by Astrolabe sailing out of Hobart
Hobart
Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony,Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. In 2009, the city had a greater area population of approximately 212,019. A resident of Hobart is known as...

 in Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

.

However, the territory has a merchant marine fleet totalling (in 1999) 2,892,911 GRT
Gross Register Tonnage
Gross register tonnage a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of . It is calculated from the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel. The ship's net register tonnage is obtained by reducing the volume of non-revenue-earning spaces i.e...

 /, including seven bulk carriers, five cargo ships, ten chemical tankers, nine container ships, six liquefied gas carriers, 24 petroleum tankers, one refrigerated cargo ship, and ten roll-on/roll-off (RORO
RORO
Roll-on/roll-off ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers or railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels...

) carriers. This fleet is maintained as a subset of the French register that allows French-owned ships to operate under more liberal taxation and manning regulations than permissible under the main French register. This register, however, is to vanish, replaced by the International French Register (Registre International Français, RIF).

The territory contains the only land mass that is antipodal
Antipodes
In geography, the antipodes of any place on Earth is the point on the Earth's surface which is diametrically opposite to it. Two points that are antipodal to one another are connected by a straight line running through the centre of the Earth....

 to the Contiguous United States
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

. The far northern tip of Îles Kerguelen, near Baie de l'Oiseau, is directly opposite the globe
Globe
A globe is a three-dimensional scale model of Earth or other spheroid celestial body such as a planet, star, or moon...

 to the small area north of US Highway 2 between Chester, Montana
Chester, Montana
Chester is a town in and the county seat of Liberty County, Montana, United States. The population was 847 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Chester is located at ....

 and Rudyard, Montana
Rudyard, Montana
Rudyard is a census-designated place in Hill County, Montana, United States. The population was 275 at the 2000 census.-History:Rudyard is a small agricultural community founded March 30, 1910 on the Hi-line of northern Montana. It is said that it was named after Rudyard, Kipling. Railroads were...

, and south of the United States-Canada border.

Economy


The territory's natural resources are limited to fish and crustaceans; economic activity is limited to servicing meteorological
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

 and geophysical
Geophysics
Geophysics is the physics of the Earth and its environment in space; also the study of the Earth using quantitative physical methods. The term geophysics sometimes refers only to the geological applications: Earth's shape; its gravitational and magnetic fields; its internal structure and...

 research stations and French and other fishing fleets.

The main fish resources are Patagonian toothfish
Patagonian toothfish
The Patagonian toothfish, Dissostichus eleginoides , is a fish found in the cold, temperate waters of the southern Atlantic, southern Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans on seamounts and continental shelves around most sub-Antarctic islands.A close relative, the Antarctic toothfish , is found...

 and spiny lobster
Spiny lobster
Spiny lobsters, also known as langouste or rock lobsters, are a family of about 45 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia...

. Both are poached by foreign fleets; because of this, the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

 and occasionally other services patrol the zone and arrest poaching vessels. Such arrests can result in heavy fines and/or the seizure of the ship.

France used to sell licences to fish the Patagonian toothfish to foreign fisheries; because of overfishing, it is now restricted to a small number of fisheries from Réunion Island.

The territory takes in revenues of about €16 million a year.

Miscellaneous


The French Southern Territories (i.e. excluding Adélie Land) is given the following country codes: FS (FIPS) and TF
ISO 3166-2:TF
ISO 3166-2:TF is the entry for the French Southern Territories in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently no ISO 3166-2...

 (ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest...

).

See also


  • French overseas departments and territories
  • Administrative divisions of France
    Administrative divisions of France
    The administrative divisions of France are concerned with the institutional and territorial organization of French territory. There are many administrative divisions, which may have political , electoral , or administrative objectives.- Metropolitan France :As of January 1, 2008, metropolitan...

  • Islands controlled by France in the Indian and Pacific oceans
    Islands controlled by France in the Indian and Pacific oceans
    -Indian Ocean Islands:The following islands are in the Indian Ocean*Réunion - *Mayotte - *French Southern and Antarctic Lands **Amsterdam Island **Crozet Islands **Kerguelen Islands...

  • French colonial empire
    French colonial empire
    The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

  • List of French possessions and colonies


External links