Location of Ashmore and Cartier Islands within the continent of Australia
Map of Ashmore
Flag Description of Ashmore and Cartier Islands: Flag of Australia used.
Background of Ashmore
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.
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
- Islands, Indian Ocean
Ashmore and Cartier Islands, officially Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, external territory of Australia, in the Indian Ocean. The islands lie 200 miles (320 km) northwest of Western Australia state and some 105 miles (170 km) southwest of the island of Roti, Indonesia. The Ashmore Islands, comprising Middle, East, and West islands, are coral islets within a reef. Cartier Island, also lying within a reef, is sandier in composition. The islands and their surrounding waters were visited by Indonesian fishermen beginning about 1700. The first European to reach Cartier Island, in 1800, was a British sea captain named Nash, who sailed aboard the Cartier. Ashmore Reef was discovered in February 1811 by Capt. Samuel Ashmore of the ship Hibernia, for which another nearby reef was named. American whaling ships plied the area in the 1850s. Great Britain and the United States both claimed possession of the islands; Britain finally annexed Ashmore in 1878 and Cartier in 1909. In the late 19th century West Island was exploited for its deposits of phosphate, an activity that removed most of the island’s topsoil. Britain gave the territory to Australia in 1933; it was administratively linked to the Northern Territory of Australia from 1938 until 1978, when administration passed to the national government. After the islands’ natural resources had been exploited for a century, scientists began raising concern that the islands’ bird and plant life was in danger of being overharvested. In the mid-20th century Australia and Indonesia negotiated an agreement formalizing the rights of traditional Indonesian fishers. Other agreements have addressed petroleum exploration and the protection of biodiversity. The islands are uninhabited except for seasonal caretakers; there is an automatic weather station on West Island. Australia administers the extraction of petroleum from undersea oil fields adjacent to the territory. Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, with an area of 225 square miles (583 square km), was established in 1983. Cartier Island Marine Reserve, some 30 miles (50 km) to the southeast, was established in 2000; it has an area of about 65 square miles (170 square km). Most of the Ashmore Reef reserve is closed to visitors, as is all of the Cartier Island reserve.
Geography of Ashmore
- Location: Southeastern Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, midway between northwestern Australia and Timor island
- Geographic coordinates: 12 14 S, 123 05 E
- Map references: Oceania
- total: 5 sq km
- country comparison to the world: 247
- 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)
- 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
- Geography - note: Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983; Cartier Island Marine Reserve established in 2000
The Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands is made up of the West, Middle and East Islands of Ashmore Reef as well as Cartier Island and the surrounding 12 nautical mile Territorial sea. The islands are uninhabited, small, low and composed of coral and sand, with some grass cover.--->>>>>Read More,<<<<
People and Society of Ashmore
- Population: 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.
Ashmore and Cartier Islands Economy 2015
This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.
Government of Ashmore
- Country name:
- conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
- conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands
- Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
- Legal system: the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and the laws of the Northern Territory of Australia, where applicable, apply
Diplomatic representation in the US:
- none (territory of Australia)
- Diplomatic representation from the US:
- none (territory of Australia)
Ashmore and Cartier Islands Government Stats
Country name > Conventional long form:
This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note. Country name > Conventional short form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on
Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example):
conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
This entry describes the formal relationship between a particular nonindependent entity and an independent state. Diplomatic representation from the US: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
A written flag description produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags. Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
Transnational Issues > Disputes > International:
This entry includes a wide variety of situations that range from traditional bilateral boundary disputes to unilateral claims of one sort or another. Information regarding disputes over international terrestrial and maritime boundaries has been reviewed by the US Department of State. References to other situations involving borders or frontiers may also be included, such as resource disputes, geopolitical questions, or irredentist issues; however, inclusion does not necessarily constitute official acceptance or recognition by the US Government.
Military of Ashmore
- note: defense is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force
Transnational Issues of Ashmore
- 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
History of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Indonesian fisherman have traditionally utilised the coastal resources of the Territory since the early eighteenth century. Prevailing trade winds and local land marks were used to set course and sail between the islands.
The first recorded European discovery of the islands was on the 11 June 1811. Captain Samuel Ashmore, commander of the Hibernia was titled with the discovery of Ashmore Island, and Captain Nash was credited with the discovery of Cartier Island and the nearby Hibernia Reef.
The 1850s saw the operation of American whalers in the region, and upon the discovery of phosphate deposits in the latter half of the nineteenth century mining began on Ashmore Island.
In the late nineteenth century Britain and the United States of America contested the ownership of Ashmore Island, with Britain assuming ‘formal’ possession in 1878. British sovereignty over the Island was later declared, with the subsequent annexation of Cartier Island taking place in 1909. The official proclamation of British land occurred on 17 May 1909.
On the 23 July 1931 an order-in-council placed Ashmore and Cartier Islands under the authority of the Commonwealth. It was not until 10 May 1934 that the Ashmore and Cartier Island's Acceptance Bill was brought into operation and Australia officially acquired a new external territory.
During the Second World War the territory received various naval visits and was used as a bombing and air weapons range for defence purposes. Throughout the 50s and 60s unmanned navigational lights and meteorological stations and signs were constructed, with naval visits and aircraft surveillance continuing.
In 1974 Australia and Indonesia entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recognising the traditional use by Indonesian fisherman of the territory's resources, and granting the rights of access to Australian waters. Under the MOU traditional Indonesian fisherman are permitted to land on West Island to replenish their stores of fresh water, visit the graves of past fishers and to take shelter in the West Island Lagoon.
In 1983 the Territory was declared a nature reserve under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975.
In September 2001, Ashmore and Cartier Islands were excised from the Australian Migration Zone.
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