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1 . Turks and Caicos Islands     Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are located in the Atlantic Ocean between 21o 00’ and 21o 60’ North Latitude and between 71o 00’ and 71o 30’ West Longitude. These islands are part of the United Kingdom’s Overseas Territories. There are eight coraline islands and 40 small cays providing a total land area of about 166 square miles. The total population is estimated at about 23,000 persons, with about 73% of the population residing on one island, Providenciales (37.5 square miles in area).

The four largest islands have fringing reefs at about 0.5 to 1.5 miles offshore, along the entire northern coast generally with a wall drop off starting between 45-60’. The three larger islands in the eastern portion of the chain have fringing reefs along their eastern coast. Shallow water patch reefs are common around all of the islands and cays.

The coral reefs and beaches are among the major tourist attractions of these islands, especially to the island of Providenciales which gets about 98% of the tourist arrivals. Import duty and tourism are the main sources of revenue for the government, with almost 121,000 visitors recorded for 1999 (TCI Tourist Board, unpublished database records).

The marine systems are important to the local lobster and conch fisheries which provide some local employment and additionally generate revenue through exports (the country’s only export). There are five processing plants which handled the 1,423,448 lbs of conch (a value of about US$1 million) and 690,846 lbs of lobster (a value of almost US$2 million) landed in 1998 (Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, unpublished database records). Fin-fish landings are on a much smaller scale, primarily for local consumption and are not as important to the economy as lobster and conch.
Source: Homer, F. and D. Shim. , 2000 , Status of the Coral Reefs in the Turks and Caicos Islands : An Overview for the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network . Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (See Document)

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