Coral Sea Islands: Background & Geography

Introduction Coral Sea Islands
Scattered over some 1 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.
Geography Coral Sea Islands
Oceania, islands in the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia
Geographic coordinates:
18 00 S, 152 00 E
Map references:
total: less than 3 sq km
note: includes numerous small islands and reefs scattered over a sea area of about 780,000 sq km, with the Willis Islets the most important
water: 0 sq km
land: less than 3 sq km
Area - comparative:
Land boundaries:
0 km
3,095 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
territorial sea: 3 NM
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
sand and coral reefs and islands (or cays)
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Cato Island 6 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (mostly grass or scrub cover) (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
occasional tropical cyclones
Environment - current issues:
no permanent fresh water resources
Geography - note:
important nesting area for birds and turtles

See Also: