Australia-Oceania :: Ashmore and Cartier Islands
(territory of Australia)
page last updated on July 2, 2009
Flag of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Location of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Map of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Introduction ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands
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 ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Southeastern Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, midway between northwestern Australia and Timor island
12 14 S, 123 05 E
total: 5 sq km
country comparison to the world: 245
land: 5 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Ashmore Reef (West, Middle, and East Islets) and Cartier Island
about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
0 km
74.1 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
low with sand and coral
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 3 m
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (all grass and sand) (2005)
0 sq km
surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards
illegal killing of protected wildlife by traditional Indonesian fisherman, as well as fishing by non-traditional Indonesian vessels, are ongoing problems
Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983; Cartier Island Marine Reserve established in 2000
People ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands
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
Government ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands
conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands
territory of Australia; administered by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department
the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and the laws of the Northern Territory of Australia, where applicable, apply
none (territory of Australia)
none (territory of Australia)
the flag of Australia is used
Economy ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands
no economic activity
Transportation ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands
none; offshore anchorage only
Military ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands
defense is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force
Transnational Issues ::Ashmore and Cartier Islands
as the closest Australian territory to Indonesia, these islands became the target of human traffickers for the landing of illegal immigrants; in 2001, the Australian government removed these islands from the Australian Migration Zone making illegal arrivals ineligible for temporary visas and entry into Australia