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  Navassa Island
(territory of the US)
Flag of Navassa Island
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 Transnational Issues

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007

Map of Navassa Island

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Navassa Island Top of Page
Definition Field Listing
This uninhabited island was claimed by the US in 1857 for its guano. Mining took place between 1865 and 1898. The lighthouse, built in 1917, was shut down in 1996 and administration of Navassa Island transferred from the Coast Guard to the Department of the Interior. A 1998 scientific expedition to the island described it as a unique preserve of Caribbean biodiversity; the following year it became a National Wildlife Refuge and annual scientific expeditions have continued.
   Geography    Navassa Island Top of Page
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, 35 miles west of Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
18 25 N, 75 02 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 5.4 sq km
land: 5.4 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
about nine times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Definition Field Listing
8 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Definition Field Listing
marine, tropical
Definition Field Listing
raised coral and limestone plateau, flat to undulating; ringed by vertical white cliffs (9 to 15 m high)
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on southwest side 77 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location 160 km south of the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; mostly exposed rock but with enough grassland to support goat herds; dense stands of fig-like trees, scattered cactus
   People    Navassa Island Top of Page
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
note: transient Haitian fishermen and others camp on the island (July 2006 est.)
   Government    Navassa Island Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Navassa Island
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
unincorporated territory of the US; administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior, from the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Boqueron, Puerto Rico; in September 1996, the Coast Guard ceased operations and maintenance of Navassa Island Light, a 46-meter-tall lighthouse on the southern side of the island; there has also been a private claim advanced against the island
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
the flag of the US is used
   Economy    Navassa Island Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Subsistence fishing and commercial trawling occur within refuge waters.

   Transportation    Navassa Island Top of Page
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
none; offshore anchorage only
   Military    Navassa Island Top of Page
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the US
   Transnational Issues    Navassa Island Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claimed by Haiti, source of subsistence fishing

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007

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