Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
|National motto: A mare labor|
|President of the collectivity||Marc Plantagenest|
- % water
Main article: History of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
During the 16th century, the islands were used a base for the seasonal cod fishery by the French of La Rochelle, Grandville, Saint-Malo and the Basque Country. When French explorer Jacques Cartier was in Saint-Pierre in 1536 he made note of the French and Breton fishery.
In 1778 the islands were attacked and the population deported by the British as retaliation for French support of the American Revolutionary War.
Although France regained the islands in 1783, by 1793, British hostility to the French Revolution and the fact that France had declared war with Britain led to another British attack on the islands and the deportation of the entire population.
The islands represent the sole remaining vestige of France's once vast North American possessions.
They have always been most important as a fishing centre, being in easy travel distance of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, some of the world's richest fishing grounds.
During the first years of World War II, the islands became part of Vichy France. Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French forces, was interested in gaining control of the islands. Following their liberation by Rear-Admiral Émile Muselier on Christmas day 1941, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon became the focus of a serious rift between Free French forces and the United States Department of State.
The islands became a full département d'outre mer of France in 1976. This status was modified in 1985 and the islands became a territory with special status (collectivité territoriale à statut particulier).
Main article: Politics of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
In 1992, a maritime boundary dispute with Canada over the delineation of the Exclusive Economic Zone belonging to France was settled by the International Court of Arbitration . In the decision, France kept the 12 nautical mile (NM) territorial sea surrounding the islands and was given an additional 12 NM contiguous zone as well as a 10.5 NM wide corridor stretching 200 NM south. The total area in the award was 18% of what France had contested.
Main article: Geography of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
The island of Saint Pierre is surrounded by smaller dependancies which include the island of Grand Colombier, Petit Colombier, and Ile aux Marins formally known as Ile aux Chiens.
Miquelon island was formed by the joining of three islands by sand dunes and quaternary deposits. These islands are Le Cap, Miquelon (Grande Miquelon), Langlade (Petite Miquelon).
The climate is very damp and windy, the winters are harsh and long. The spring and early summer are foggy and cool. Late summer and early fall are sunny.
Main article: Economy of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
The islands were dependent upon the cod fishery for the best part of the last four centuries. However, overfishing on the Grand Banks has led Canada to impose a long closure of this industry. Since fishing quotas are governed by Canada, Saint Pierre and Miquelon and the French Fishery have been seriously affected.
In Saint Pierre and Miquelon, many efforts are being made, with the help of the French Government, to diversify the local economy. Tourism, fish farming, crab fishing and agriculture are being developed.
Main article: Demographics of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Main article: Culture of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
French patriotism is still strong on the islands, and the islanders are proud that some of the soil on the island is French, having been brought over in the ballasts of ships.
- Official Tourism Website
- Saint Pierre Miquelon Online Community
- Philatelic articles by David Allen
- The Liberation of Saint Pierre and Miquelon by Richard Doody
- Saint-Pierre & Miquelon Online Magazine
- CIA World Factbook entry for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
|Countries in North America|
|Antigua and Barbuda | Bahamas | Barbados | Belize | Canada | Costa Rica | Cuba | Dominica | Dominican Republic | El Salvador | Grenada | Guatemala | Haiti | Honduras | Jamaica | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Trinidad and Tobago | United States|
|Dependencies: Anguilla | Aruba | Bermuda | Cayman Islands | Greenland | Guadeloupe | Martinique | Montserrat | Netherlands Antilles | Puerto Rico | Saint-Pierre and Miquelon | Turks and Caicos Islands | U.S. Virgin Islands | British Virgin Islands|