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Introduction

Bassas da India is an uninhabited, roughly circular atoll that is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Located in the southern Mozambique Channel, about halfway between Mozambique and Madagascar (about 385 kilometres further east) and around 110 kilometres northwest of Europa Island, the rim of the atoll averages around 100 metres in width and encloses a shallow lagoon of depth no greater than 15 metres.

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Geography

Overall, the atoll is about 10 kilometres in diameter, rising steeply from the seabed 3,000 metres below to encircle an area (including lagoon) of 80 km2. Its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), 123,700 km2 in size, is contiguous with that of Europa Island. The atoll consists of ten barren rocky islets, with no vegetation, totalling 0.2 kmĀ² in area. Those on the north and east sides are 2.1 to 3 metres high, while those on the west and south sides are 1.2 metres high. The reef, whose coastline measures 35.2 kilometres, is completely covered by the sea from three hours before high tide to three hours afterward.

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Weather

Tropical. The region is also subject to cyclones, making the atoll a long-time maritime hazard and the site of numerous shipwrecks.

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Getting There and Around

Mooring at Bassas da India requires a permit from the French Government. Fishing without such a permit may result in the boat being expelled or even confiscated.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 8:50 on Jan 26, 15 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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