[Country map of French Southern and Antarctic Lands]

French Southern and Antarctic Lands

(overseas territory of France)


Location: Southern Africa, islands in the southern Indian Ocean, about equidistant between Africa, Antarctica, and Australia; note - "French Southern and Antarctic Lands" includes Ile Amsterdam, Ile Saint-Paul, Iles Crozet, and Iles Kerguelen in the southern Indian Ocean, along with the French-claimed sector of Antartica, "Terre Adelie"; the United States does not recognize the French claim to "Terre Adelie"

Map references: Antarctic Region

total area: 7,781 sq km
land area: 7,781 sq km
comparative area: slightly less than 1.5 times the size of Delaware
note: includes Ile Amsterdam, Ile Saint-Paul, Iles Crozet and Iles Kerguelen; excludes "Terre Adelie" claim of about 500,000 sq km in Antarctica that is not recognized by the US

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1,232 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm from Iles Kerguelen only
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: "Terre Adelie" claim in Antarctica is not recognized by the US

Climate: antarctic

Terrain: volcanic

Natural resources: fish, crayfish

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 100%

Irrigated land: 0 sq km

current issues: NA
natural hazards: Ile Amsterdam and Ile Saint-Paul are extinct volcanoes
international agreements: NA

Note: remote location in the southern Indian Ocean


Population: no indigenous inhabitants; note - there are researchers whose numbers vary from 150 in winter (July) to 200 in summer (January)


conventional long form: Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands
conventional short form: French Southern and Antarctic Lands
local long form: Territoire des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises
local short form: Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises

Digraph: FS

Type: overseas territory of France since 1955; governed by High Administrator Bernard de GOUTTES (since May 1990), who is assisted by a 7-member Consultative Council and a 12-member Scientific Council

Capital: none; administered from Paris, France

Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 3 districts named Ile Crozet, Iles Kerguelen, and Iles Saint-Paul et Amsterdam; excludes "Terre Adelie" claim in Antarctica that is not recognized by the US

Independence: none (overseas territory of France)

Flag: the flag of France is used


Overview: Economic activity is limited to servicing meteorological and geophysical research stations and French and other fishing fleets. The fish catches landed on Iles Kerguelen by foreign ships are exported to France and Reunion.

revenues: $17.5 million
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA (1992)


total: NA
paved: NA
unpaved: NA

Ports: none; offshore anchorage only

Merchant marine:
total: 48 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,290,975 GRT/2,403,050 DWT
ships by type: bulk 5, cargo 6, chemical tanker 4, container 1, liquefied gas tanker 3, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil tanker 15, refrigerated cargo 4, roll-on/roll-off cargo 8, specialized liquefied tanker 1
note: a subset of the French register allowing French-owned ships to operate under more liberal taxation and manning regulations than permissable under the main French register

Airports: none


Telephone system: NA telephones
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: NA

broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
radios: NA

broadcast stations: NA
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of France