French Southern and Antarctic Lands

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The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (French: Terres australes et antarctiques françaises, abbreviated TAAF), full name Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (French: Territoire des Terres australes et antarctiques françaises), consist of:

The territory is also often called the French Southern Lands (French: Terres australes françaises) or French Southern Territories, which excludes Adélie Land where French sovereignty is not recognized internationally.[2] The lands are not connected to France Antarctique, a former French colony in Brazil.

The territory has no permanent population; the population consists of military personnel, civilian officials, scientific researchers and support staff. Some of the territory's exclusive economic zone is of great importance for fishing.



The French Southern and Antarctic Lands have formed a territoire d'outre-mer (an overseas territory) of France since 1955. Formerly, they were administered from Paris by an administrateur supérieur assisted by a secretary-general; since December 2004, however, their administrator has been a préfet, currently Rollon Mouchel-Blaisot, with headquarters in Saint-Pierre on Réunion Island.

The territory is divided into five districts:

(1)According to new law 2007-224 of February 21, 2007 Scattered Islands constitute the 5th district of TAAF [1]. The website of the TAAF do not mention their population. The data are not included in the totals.
(2)The main station on the Îles Éparses is on Tromelin. The headquarters of the district chief, Saint Pierre, on Réunion Island, is located outside the TAAF.
(3)The main station of the territory is Martin-de-Viviès on Amsterdam. The capital and headquarters of the administrator of the territory, Saint Pierre, on Réunion Island, is located outside the TAAF.

Each district is headed by a district chief, which has powers similar to those of a French mayor (including recording births and deaths and being an officer of judicial police).

Because there is no permanent population, there is no elected assembly, nor does the territory send representatives to the national parliament.

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