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1 . Nauru     Nauru
Nauru is a single island country situated in the middle of the vast Pacific ocean, about 60 km south of the equator, at latitude 0°31’S and longitude 166° 55’E (Figure 1). Its nearest neighbour is Banaba also known as Ocean Island in the Republic of Kiribati, about 300 km to the east. Sydney is about 4000 km to the south, Tokyo, some 4 800 km to the north west and Honolulu about 4200 km to the
north east.

Nauru is an ancient submerged volcano with a karstified limestone cap of coral origin about 550m thick (Hill and Jacobson 1989), measuring 6 km long by 4 km wide with a circumference of 18 km and a total land area of 21 sq. km. The central plateau forms about 80% of the island with the highest point to 70 m above sea level. The remaining land area is composed of a flat coastal terrace measuring 300-1000 m wide and with a mean elevation of about 3m above sea level. The shallow intertidal fringing reef measures 110-320 m in width, and sloping 45° angle to the ocean floor to a 4000 m depth. Dalzell & Debao (1994) estimated that the total intertidal reef area down to the 200 m isobath measures 7.4 sq km.

The climate is tropical and humid with temperatures ranging from 24-34° Celsius, however, it is kept cool by the south east trade winds from April to October and by the westerly from November to March. While the trade winds are associated with periods of dry spells and calm seas, the westerly season on the other hand are associated with periods of heavy rainfall and stormy seas.

The population of Nauru at the last official census undertaken in 1992 was 9919 (Pitcher 1993). Estimates for this year is 12460 based on the 1992 population growth rate. The population density is 593 sq km, which is the highest in the Pacific island countries.

Extensive phosphate deposits found on the plateau led to its mining in 1906. This resulted in the plateau’s appearance being drastically altered, largely due to the open-cast mining method that removed vegetation, soil and rocks. Phosphate income, until recently, provided Nauruans with a comfortable lifestyle with most food requirements imported from overseas. The exploitation of the living marine resources was undertaken primarily on an artisanal level, on a moderate basis (Dalzell 1993). Its contribution to the nutritional requirements of the Nauruans is very important. Over the past three years the financial contribution of the fisheries sector has gained significance, particularly in terms of license fees received from distant water fishing nations. The revenue from fisheries now accounts for around 30% of the gross domestic product.
Source: Peter, J. , 2000 , The Status of Marine Resources and Coral Reefs of Nauru. . Unpublished status report by the SW Pacific node of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). (See Document)

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