Ashmore and Cartier Islands( Australia-Oceania )


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Background:
These uninhabited islands came under Australian authority in 1931; formal administration began two years later. Ashmore Reef supports a rich and diverse avian and marine habitat; in 1983, it became a National Nature Reserve. Cartier Island, a former bombing range, became a marine reserve in 2000.
Geography
Location:
Southeastern Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, midway between northwestern Australia and Timor island
Geographic coordinates:
12 14 S, 123 05 E
Area:
total: 5 sq km
land: 5 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Ashmore Reef (West, Middle, and East Islets) and Cartier Island
Area comparative:
about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
74.1 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
tropical
Terrain:
low with sand and coral
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 3 m
Natural resources:
fish
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (all grass and sand) (2011)
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Natural hazards:
surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards
Environment current issues:
illegal killing of protected wildlife by traditional Indonesian fisherman, as well as fishing by non-traditional Indonesian vessels, are ongoing problems
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Geography note:
Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983; Cartier Island Marine Reserve established in 2000
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no indigenous inhabitants
note: Indonesian fishermen are allowed access to the lagoon and fresh water at Ashmore Reef's West Island; access to East and Middle Islands is by permit only
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Government
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conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands
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the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and the laws of the Northern Territory of Australia, where applicable, apply
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none (territory of Australia)
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the flag of Australia is used
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no economic activity
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Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
Australia has closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier reserve to Indonesian traditional fishing; Indonesian groups challenge Australia's claim to Ashmore Reef
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