French Southern Antarctic Lands

 

In February 2007, the Iles Eparses became an integral part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). The Southern Lands are now divided into five administrative districts, two of which are archipelagos, Iles Crozet and Iles Kerguelen; the third is a district composed of two volcanic islands, Ile Saint-Paul and Ile Amsterdam; the fourth, Iles Eparses, consists of five scattered tropical islands around Madagascar. They contain no permanent inhabitants and are visited only by researchers studying the native fauna, scientists at the various scientific stations, fishermen, and military personnel. The fifth district is the Antarctic portion, which consists of “Adelie Land,” a thin slice of the Antarctic continent discovered and claimed by the French in 1840.

 

Geography:
Location: southeast and east of Africa, islands in the southern Indian Ocean, some near Madagascar and others about equidistant between Africa, Antarctica, and Australia; note – French Southern and Antarctic Lands include Ile Amsterdam, Ile Saint-Paul, Iles Crozet, Iles Kerguelen, Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island in the southern Indian Ocean, along with the French-claimed sector of Antarctica, “Adelie Land”; the US does not recognize the French claim to “Adelie Land”
Geographic coordinates: Ile Amsterdam (Ile Amsterdam et Ile Saint-Paul): 37 50 S, 77 32 E

Ile Saint-Paul (Ile Amsterdam et Ile Saint-Paul): 38 72 S, 77 53 E

Iles Crozet: 46 25 S, 51 00 E

Iles Kerguelen: 49 15 S, 69 35 E

Bassas da India (Iles Eparses): 21 30 S, 39 50 E

Europa Island (Iles Eparses): 22 20 S, 40 22 E

Glorioso Islands (Iles Eparses): 11 30 S, 47 20 E

Juan de Nova Island (Iles Eparses): 17 03 S, 42 45 E

Tromelin Island (Iles Eparses): 15 52 S, 54 25 E

People:
no indigenous inhabitants

Ile Amsterdam (Ile Amsterdam et Ile Saint-Paul): has no permanent residents but has a meteorological station

Ile Saint-Paul (Ile Amsterdam et Ile Saint-Paul): is uninhabited but is frequently visited by fishermen and has a scientific research cabin for short stays

Iles Crozet: are uninhabited except for 18 to 30 people staffing the Alfred Faure research station on Ile del la Possession

Iles Kerguelen: 50 to 100 scientists are located at the main base at Port-aux-Francais on Ile Kerguelen

Bassas da India (Iles Eparses): uninhabitable

Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island (Iles Eparses): a small French military garrison and a few meteorologists on each possession; visited by scientists

Tromelin Island (Iles Eparses): uninhabited, except for visits by scientists

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands

conventional short form: French Southern and Antarctic Lands

local long form: Territoire des TerresAustrales et AntarctiquesFrancaises

local short form: TerresAustrales et AntarctiquesFrancaises

abbreviation: TAAF

Dependency status: overseas territory of France since 1955; administered from Paris by AdministrateurSuperieur Eric PILLOTON (since 10 April 2007)
Communications:
Internet country code: .tf
Internet hosts: 34 (2010)
Communications – note: one or more meteorological stations on each possession; note – meteorological station on Tromelin Island (Iles Eparses) is important for forecasting cyclones
Transportation:
Airports: 4 (one each on Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island in the Iles Eparses district) (2010)
Ports and terminals: none; offshore anchorage only
Transportation – note: aids to navigation – lighthouses: Europa Island 18m; Juan de Nova Island (W side) 37m; Tromelin Island (NW point) 11m (all in the Iles Eparses district)
Military:
Defence is the responsibility of France

Economy:

Economic activity is limited to servicing meteorological and geophysical research stations, military bases, and French and other fishing fleets. The fish catches landed on Iles Kerguelen by foreign ships are exported to France and Reunion.

Transnational Issues:

French claim to “Adelie Land” in Antarctica is not recognized by the US

Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island (Iles Eparses): claimed by Madagascar

Tromelin Island (Iles Eparses): claimed by Mauritius