French Southern Territories
Description of French Southern Territories
The French Southern Territories are often referred to with the Antarctic Lands. This overseas territory consists of several different parts. There are the following sets:
These territories are referred to as the French Southern Lands as well. When referred to as lands it does not include the Scattered Islands and Adelie Land as French sovereignty is not recognized widely or disputed by any other state. The lands are not a part of the France Antarctique, which was a former French colony of Brazil.
The French southern territories have been an overseas territory of France since the year 1955. They were administered from Paris in the past by the administrator superior who was helped by the secretary general. Since the year 2004, the administrator has been the prefet and the headquarters are located on Reunion Island in Saint Pierre.
There are 5 districts of territories. The first is Saint Paul/Amsterdam. The capital of this area is Martin-de-Vivies. The second is Arcipel Crozet, with a capital of Alfred Faure. The third district is Arcipel des Kerguelen who’s capital is Port-Aux-Francais. The fourth district is Terre Adelie and the capital is Dumont d’Urville Station. The fifth district is Lles Eparses and the capital is Saint Pierre. Saint Pierre is also the capital of the entire French Southern Territories.
French southern territories include lle Saint-Paul, lle Amsterdam, lles Kerguelen, and lles Crozet. They are located in the southern Indian ocean. The territories also include the area of Antarctica that has been claimed by the French.
Adelie land was named by Jules Dumont, who was a French explorer. He named the area for his wife. Adelie land has a total of 7781 kilometers and there are no indigenous inhabitants of the land. In the year 1997 about 100 researchers resided there.
Lle Saint Paul and lle Amsterdam are made of extinct volcanoes and they have been delineated as temperate grasslands. The highest point of the area is Mont Ross, which is 1850 meters high. There are some airstrips located on the islands with weather stations. There are no harbors or ports on the islands, just offshore anchorages.
The islands located in the Indian Ocean get supplies from the Marion Dufresne, a special ship that travels from the port located on Reunion Island. Astrolabe is the ship that sails from Hobart located in Tasmania and it supplies Terre Adelie.
The French Southern Territories have a merchant marine fleet that totals 165,713 tons of deadweight. This includes 5 cargo ships, 7 bulk carriers, 9 container ships, 10 chemical tankers, 24 petroleum tankers, 6 gas carriers, 10 roll on/off carriers, and a refrigerated cargo ship. The fleet is maintained by the French register and allows ships owned by the French to operate under a more liberal taxation system. The regulations are more permissible than those of the main French register as well. This register will soon be replaced by the RIF (international French register).
The natural resources of the territory are limited to crustaceans and fish. The economic activity of the islands is limited to services for geophysical and meteorological research stations as well as fishing fleets from France and other places.
The main resources for fish include the spiny lobster and the Patagonian tooth fish. Each are poached by different foreign fleets and because of this France’s navy and some other services will patrol the zone and poaching vessels are arrested. These arrests can result in the boat being seized and hefty fines.
The French used to sell licenses to foreign fishermen so that they could fish for the Patagonian tooth fish. However, this caused overfishing and now the number of fisheries that are allowed to fish for the Patagonian tooth fish has to be limited. The fisheries are all from Reunion Island.
The French southern territories bring in roughly €16 million each year.
Some facts about French Southern Territories
Gallery of French Southern Territories
French Southern Territories video guide
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