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Friday, January 04, 2008

Tristan de Cunha 1960 Sealife Definitives Part I of II


Tristan de Cunha is a group of very remote islands located in the Atlantic Ocean between South American and South Africa. They are considered the most remote group of islands in the world. These islands are currently an overseas territory of Great Britain. They are part of the British Crown Colony of St Helena. The territory consists of a main island, Tristan de Cunha, and 3 remote uninhabited islands; Gough Island, Inaccessible Island and Nightingale Island.

Tristan de Cunha is an active volcanic mountain. In 1961, the island was evacuated because of eruptions. The local lobster (crawfish) factory was destroyed, but rebuilt soon afterwards. Crawfish is one of the main sources of revenues for the island. They have exclusively been exported to Japan and the United States. Currently, there is less demand in the U.S. and the Tristan de Cunha economy is suffering as a result.

There is no airport on the islands and therefore it is difficult to transport to the outside world. Fishing boats from South Africa service the island on a regular basis. Television arrived on the island in 2001. There is only one channel available; The British Armed Services Broadcast. The resulting education on the island is poor. Children are allowed to leave school at 15 years of age.

Currently there are only 275 residents on the island. All residents are descendants of the original settlers. There are only seven surviving family names living on the island today; Glass, Swain, Green, Rogers, Hagan, Repetto and Lavarello. Patterson was the last name added in 1986, bringing the total to only 8 families inhabiting this remote island. Only a few expatriate members and their families may live on the island at a time. They are only allowed to live there for a short period of time (from a week to a couple of months). Priests, doctors and dentists fall into this category.

Check back on Monday for the conclusion to this post.

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