French Southern Territories

From Academic Kids

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.

Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (TAAF)
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Flag of TAAF

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National motto: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
(Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood)
Official languageFrench
Administrator-SuperiorMichel Champon
Internet TLD .tf


The French Southern Territories form an overseas territory of France (French: territoire d'outre-mer).

It has been an overseas territory of France since 1955, administered from Paris by an administrateur supérieur, assisted by a secretary-general. The "capital" (main base) of the territory is Martin-de-Viviès on Île Amsterdam.

The territory is divided into four districts:

Several countries do not recognize the French claim to "Adélie Land", and France's territorial claim is suspended in accordance with the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty.


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 432 000 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).

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.


The territory's data code is FS and its ISO 3166-1 country code (top level Internet domain) is TF.

See also

External links

es:Territorios Australes Franceses fr:Terres australes et antarctiques françaises it:Territori Francesi Meridionali nl:Franse Zuidelijke Gebieden ja:フランス領南方・南極地域 pl:Francuskie Terytoria Południowe i Antarktyczne pt:Terras Austrais e Antárticas Francesas sl:Francoske južne in antarktične dežele


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