Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
French Southern Territories
The French Southern Territories (long name: Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, French: Territoire des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises or TAAF) are antarctic, volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean, south of Africa and about equidistant between Africa, Antarctica, and Australia.
|National motto: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité|
(Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood)
The territory includes Île Amsterdam, Île Saint-Paul, 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 (French Terre Adélie), named by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville after his wife.
The "Adélie Land" of about 500,000 km² and the islands, totaling 7781 km², have no indigenous inhabitants, though in 1997 there were about 100 researchers whose numbers varied from winter (July) to summer (January). France maintains the Dumont d'Urville scientific station on Adélie Land".
Île Amsterdam and Île Saint-Paul are extinct volcanoes; 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 kilometers of coastline have no ports or harbors, only offshore anchorages. However, the territory has a merchant marine fleet totaling (in 1999) 2,892,911 GRT/5,165,713 DWT, including seven bulk carriers, five cargo ships, ten chemical tankers, nine container ships, six liquified gas carriers, 24 petroleum tankers, one refrigerated cargo ship, and ten roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) carriers. This fleet is maintained as a subset of the French register that allowing French-owned ships to operate under more liberal taxation and manning regulations than permissible under the main French register.
The territory's natural resources are limited to fish and crayfish; economic activity is limited to servicing meteorological and geophysical research stations and French and other fishing fleets. The fish catches landed on Îles Kerguelen by foreign ships are exported to France and Réunion. The territory takes in revenues of about $18 million a year.
- Crozet Archipelago http://www.discoverfrance.net/Colonies/Crozet.shtml
- Kerguelen Archipelago http://www.discoverfrance.net/Colonies/Kerguelen.shtml
- Southern & Antarctic Territories http://www.discoverfrance.net/Colonies/Antarctic.shtml
- Terre Adélie http://www.discoverfrance.net/Colonies/Terre_Adelie.shtml
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