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1 . French Polynesia     French Polynesia
French Polynesia lies in the South Pacific and extends over about 2,500,000 sq.km of ocean from 134°28’ W (Temoe) to 154°40’W (Manuae or Scilly) and from 7°50’S (Moto One) to 27°36’S (Rapa) (Figure 1). Emergent lands total 3430 sq.km, with about 12800 sq.km of reef formation totalling more than 2000 km in length (Gabrié, 1998) and there is about 7000 sq km of lagoon (Wells, 1988), giving a land to sea ratio of 0.16%. In addition the region is surrounded by an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 5,500,000 sq.km. Tahiti the largest, highest island in French Polynesia (1042 sq.km, 2241 m) is in the middle of the South Pacific, 6100 km from Sydney, 8000 km from Santiago, Chile and 6400 km from Los Angeles and 9500 km from Tokyo. French Polynesia is part of the Polynesian Province which covers 8,733 sq.km of land and 13,200,000 sq.km of sea (Wauthy, 1986), giving a land to sea ratio of 0.066%. Polynesia together with Micronesia and Melanesia constitutes Oceania. All these areas while characterised by numerous small islands, have very small land masses compared to their surrounding waters (Bleakely, 1995) which are of great significance to the people of Oceania both in terms of culture and economy. The marine environments of French Polynesia are probably the best studied of this Province.

Five archipelagoes
French Polynesia consists of 118 islands of which 84 are atolls (Figure 2), most of the remainder are high volcanic islands, many of which are mountainous with inaccessible interiors. Most of the lanf is on high volcanic islands (Figure 3)The islands form five archipelagoes (Society, Tuamotu, Gambier, Marquesas and Austral) and each one is situated along a south east to north west axis. This is related to their origin from a hot spot on the sea floor towards the north west, and so the age of the islands increases from the south east to the north west (Figure 4). The exception is the Tuamotu Archipelago, where most of the islands are atolls formed by the subsidence of high volcanic islands on a plateau formed on the East Pacific ridge and which is still separating. A classification of the islands based upon geomorphological characteristics is given by Salvat (1985). The islands vary greatly in size with Rangiroa the largest 1,800 sq.km and some of the smallest being only 2 sq.km. Additional information is given by Wells (1988), Gabrié and Salvat (1985) and Rougerie and Rancher (1994) together with any relevant references to the geomorphology, fauna and flora and the Polynesian south ocean features and circulation. Main average climatic data are in Figure 5.

The population of French Polynesia was estimated as of 1996 - last census (ITSTAT, 1999) - to be about 220,000, which is however not evenly distributed. Of the 118 islands only 76 are inhabited and of these Tahiti and Moorea in the Society Islands have 75% of the entire population. In fact, 34% of the entire population of the Territory lives in the large urban zone of Papeete, in an area about 100 sq.km representing about 3% of the total land mass of the entire Territory. Evolution of population has been variable since a decade in the different archipelagoes with a toral increase of about 16% (Figure 6). The current rate of population increase is 1.9% annually and 43% of the population is under 20 years of age. Basically the entire population of French Polynesia lives along the narrow coastal fringes of the atolls and the high volcanic islands. So while the population of French Polynesia has always traditionally used the coastal resources, with increasing urbanisation and population increases over the past 20-30 years, these uses have increased and with it impacts on the marine environment. A similar pattern is occurring throughout the South Pacific as people move to towns in search of employment.
Source: Salvat, B., P. Huthcings, A. Aubanel, M. Tatarata and C. Dauphin , 2000 , The status of the coral reefs and marine resources of French Polynesia. . Preprint of chapter in: Seas at the Millennium: An Environmental Evaluation, C. Sheppard (ed) (See Document)

2 . French Polynesia     French Polynesia
Moorea in French Polynesia is a high volcanic island of 150 km2 surrounded by a coral reef and lagoon ecosystem of about 50 km2 that has recently been assessed to evaluate the goods and services reefs provide: recreation and tourism (58%); aesthetic values (housing, 28%); coastal protection (7%); maintenance of biodiversity (5%); and just 2% in providing food from fisheries. Moorea is a relatively densely populated island with 15 000 people and is the sister island of Tahiti, such that it now functions as a suburb of Tahiti Papeete, the major urban centre of commerce and government activities. A management plan of the lagoons and reefs (PGEM) was launched in order to solve conflicts of interest among all stakeholders (Figure 13.4).
Source: Vieux, C., B. Salvat, Y. Chancerelle, T. Kirata, T. Rongo and E. Cameron , 2008 , Status of Coral Reefs in Polynesia Mana Node Countries: Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Kiribati, Tonga, Tokelau and Wallis and Futuna . In: Wilkinson, C. (ed.). Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Research Center, Townsville, Australia. p189-198. (See Document)

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