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1 . Clipperton Atoll (France)     Clipperton Atoll (France)
Clipperton Atoll is located in the Eastern Pacific, about 1100 kilometers southwest of the Mexican part of the American mainland. Although a considerable distance from French Polynesia it is administered by these islands. It is a roughly circular atoll about 4 kilometers across, with an island completely encircling its lagoon. There is a 50-200 meter wide reef flat terminating in a spur and groove system. The reef slope is relatively gentle with high coral cover (33-83 percent) in many areas. The deeper slope has more sand and rubble.

The island is uninhabited and rarely visited. There is no legal protection of the natural resources. Sharks, originally reported to be abundant, are now scarce and it has been suggested that a group of Mexican fishing vessels may have intensively fished this population in 1993.

This atoll is extremely important in biogeographic terms. Its easterly location actually places it in a completely different biogeographic region from the other Pacific islands – the Tropical Eastern Pacific, with close affinities to the reefs and coral communities of the western coast of the Americas. It is in fact the best developed reef and the only atoll in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.
Source: Spalding, M.D., C. Ravilious and E.P. Green , 2001 , World Atlas of Coral Reefs . Prepared at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. University of California Press,Berkeley,USA.421p. (See Document)

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