Australia-Oceania :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS
Page last updated on September 20, 2018
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  • Introduction :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • Scattered over more than three-quarters of a million square kilometers of ocean, the Coral Sea Islands were declared a territory of Australia in 1969. They are uninhabited except for a small meteorological staff on the Willis Islets. Automated weather stations, beacons, and a lighthouse occupy many other islands and reefs. The Coral Sea Islands Act 1969 was amended in 1997 to extend the boundaries of the Coral Sea Islands Territory around Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs.
  • Geography :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • Oceania, islands in the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia
    18 00 S, 152 00 E
    total: less than 3 sq km
    land: less than 3 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes numerous small islands and reefs scattered over a sea area of about 780,000 sq km (300,000 sq mi) with the Willis Islets the most important
    country comparison to the world: 252
    about four times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC
    0 km
    3,095 km
    territorial sea: 3 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    sand and coral reefs and islands (cays)
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed location on Cato Island 9 m
    agricultural land: 0%
    arable land 0%; permanent crops 0%; permanent crops 0%
    forest: 0%
    other: 100% (mostly grass or scrub cover) (2011 est.)
    occasional tropical cyclones
    no permanent freshwater resources; damaging activities include coral mining, destructive fishing practices (overfishing, blast fishing)
    important nesting area for birds and turtles
  • People and Society :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • no indigenous inhabitants
    note: there is a staff of four at the meteorological station on Willis Island (2017 est.)
  • Government :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • conventional long form: Coral Sea Islands Territory
    conventional short form: Coral Sea Islands
    etymology: self-descriptive name to reflect the islands' position in the Coral Sea off the northeastern coast of Australia
    territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
    the common law legal system of Australia, where applicable, applies
    see Australia
    none (territory of Australia)
    none (territory of Australia)
    the flag of Australia is used
  • Economy :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • no economic activity
  • Communications :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • automatic weather stations on many of the isles and reefs relay data to the mainland
  • Transportation :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • none; offshore anchorage only
  • Military and Security :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • defense is the responsibility of Australia
  • Transnational Issues :: CORAL SEA ISLANDS

  • none