[Country map of Ashmore and Cartier Islands]

Ashmore and Cartier Islands

(territory of Australia)


Location: Southeastern Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, northwest of Australia

Map references: Southeast Asia

total area: 5 sq km
land area: 5 sq km
comparative area: about 8.5 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
note: includes Ashmore Reef (West, Middle, and East Islets) and Cartier Island

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 74.1 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 3 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical

Terrain: low with sand and coral

Natural resources: fish

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 100% (all grass and sand)

Irrigated land: 0 sq km

current issues: NA
natural hazards: surrounded by shoals and reefs which can pose maritime hazards
international agreements: NA

Note: Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983


Population: no indigenous inhabitants; note - there are only seasonal caretakers


conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Digraph: AT

Type: territory of Australia administered by the Australian Ministry for the Environment, Sport, and Territories

Capital: none; administered from Canberra, Australia

Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia)

Independence: none (territory of Australia)

Legal system: relevant laws of the Northern Territory of Australia

Diplomatic representation in US: none (territory of Australia)

US diplomatic representation: none (territory of Australia)


Overview: no economic activity


Ports: none; offshore anchorage only

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force