Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Flag of Ashmore and Cartier Islands                                Map of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
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, is now a marine reserve.
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:Southeast Asia
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
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) (2005)
Irrigated land:0 sq km
Natural hazards:surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards
Environment—current issues:NA
Geography—note:Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983
Population:no indigenous inhabitants
note: Indonesian fishermen are allowed access to the lagoon and fresh water at Ashmore Reef's West Island
People—note:the landing of illegal immigrants from Indonesia's Rote Island has become an ongoing problem
Country name:conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Dependency status:territory of Australia; administered by the Australian Attorney-General's Department
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)
Flag description:the flag of Australia is used
Economy—overview:no economic activity
Ports and terminals:none; offshore anchorage only
Military—note:defense is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force
Transnational Issues
Disputes—international:Indonesian groups challenge Australia's claim to these islands; Australia closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier Reserve to Indonesian traditional fishing and placed restrictions on certain catches


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