Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rodrigues (or Rodriguez) is one of the Mascarene Islands and a dependency of Mauritius. It is located 560 km east of Mauritius, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It is 109 km² in size, and surrounded by a coral reef. The capital of the island is Port Mathurin.
As of 1996, the island's population was about 35,000. The main language is French and the main religion is Roman Catholic. Most of the inhabitants are of African descent, and the main industries are farming, fishing and tourism.
Rodrigues was discovered in 1645 by the Portuguese, and from 1691-93 it was occupied by the Dutch. It was then colonized in the 18th century by the French. Britain took over the island in 1810 and administered it as part of Mauritius, which became independent in 1968.
On February 4, 2003, Serge Clair became the Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues , and the Chief Executive of the newly established island council when the island obtained its autonomy. Today, Rodrigues has its own regional assembly which participates in the general assembly of Mauritius.
MAP OF MAURITIUS
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