Clipperton Island (Phokland)
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|Dominion of Clipperton Island
(FR) Vicomte impériale de l'île Clipperton
|Claimed||9 June 2019|
|- Governor||Mia Sanchez|
|- Total||6 km2 (2.3 sq mi)|
|Island also claimed by France and Molossia|
Clipperton Island (Île de Clipperton) is an uninhabited 6 km2 coral atoll in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central America. It is currently claimed as both an Overseas Minor Territory of France, and as an Overseas Territory of the Phoklandian Free State.
The island was discovered on 3 April 1711 by Frenchmen Martin de Chassiron and Michel Du Bocage. It was given the name Île de la Passion (English: Passion Island, later renamed to Clipperton Island).
They drew up the first map and claimed the island for France. The first scientific expedition took place in 1725 under Frenchman M. Bocage, who lived on the island for several months. In 1858, France formally laid claim to said island.
The current name comes from John Clipperton, an English pirate and privateer who fought the Spanish during the early 18th century, and who is said to have passed by the island. Some sources claim that he used it as a base for his raids on shipping.
Over the years, several nations have laid claim to the island, including America, Mexico, France and most recently Phokland. However, over the years, all nations but France and Phokland have dropped their claims to Clipperton Island.
In recent times, the nation of France has relaxed their claims to the island, being that the island has been without a local government since 1916.
As such, the government of Phokland decided to ceremonially annex the island in early 2019. However, it is important to note that the nation of Phokland only claims the island as a micronational claim and has no intention on challenging France's claim of sovereign over-lordship over Clipperton Island.
Clipperton has a ring-shaped atoll which completely encloses a stagnant freshwater lagoon, and is 12 km (7.5 mi) in circumference. The lagoon is devoid of fish, and contains some deep basins with depths of 43 and 72 m (141 and 236 ft), including a spot known as Trou-Sans-Fond, or "the bottomless hole", with acidic water at its base. The water is described as being almost fresh at the surface, and highly eutrophic. Seaweed beds cover approximately 45 percent of the lagoon's surface. The rim averages 150 m (490 ft) in width, reaching 400 m (1,300 ft) in the west and narrows to 45 m (148 ft) in the north-east, where sea waves occasionally spill over into the lagoon.
While some sources have rated the lagoon water as non-potable, testimony from the crew of the tuna clipper M/V Monarch, stranded for 23 days in 1962 after their boat sank, indicates otherwise. Their report reveals that the lagoon water, while not tasting very good, was drinkable, though "muddy and dirty". Several of the castaways drank it, with no apparent ill effects.
Survivors of an ill-fated Mexican military colony in 1917 indicated that they were dependent upon rain for their water supply, catching it in old boats they used for this purpose. Aside from the lagoon and water caught from rain, no other freshwater sources are known to exist.
It has a tropical oceanic climate, with average temperatures of 20–32 °C (68–90 °F). The rainy season occurs from May to October, when it is subject to tropical storms and hurricanes. Surrounding ocean waters are warm, pushed by equatorial and counter-equatorial currents. It has no known natural resources (its guano having been depleted early in the 20th century). Although 115 species of fish have been identified in nearby waters the only economic activity in the area is tuna fishing.
The Clipperton Island territory (in regards to Phokland) is governed by the home rule of the Phoklandian Government, under the supervision of the island's Governor (formally Viceroy), who rules the island under the appointment of the Phoklandian President, until said leader decides otherwise.
The majority of individuals on Clipperton Island at any time our tourists from around the world. Said tourists are mostly Fishermen, Sailors and Bird Watchers.