The French Southern Territories are an overseas department of France, comprising the following regions: the Kerguelen archipelago (Indian Ocean), the islands of Amsterdam and St. Paul (north of Kerguelen), the Crozet Islands (Southern Indian Ocean), and the Scattered Islands (around the coast of Madagascar). The French government has also raised a claim on Ad lie Land, located on the coast of Antarctica, but its sovereignty has not yet been widely recognized and it is thus excluded from the French Southern Territories.
The capital is the settlement of Port-aux-Français, located in the Morbihan Gulf. Approximately 60 people inhabit it during winter and 120 during summer time. The region has a moderate tundra climate.
A total of 140 people inhabit the entire surface of the French Southern Territories, although none are permanent population. They are represented by visiting officials, researchers, military personnel, and support staff.
French Southern Territories’ sole natural resource is represented by crustaceans and fish. In the past, the French government would sell fishing licenses to foreigners, but due to overfishing this activity has now stopped. The only economic activity remains geophysical and meteorological research. The local currency is the Euro (EUR) and the official language is French. A number of French fisheries still operate in the region of the French Southern Territories.
The local administration is handled by a prefect, appointed by the French Government. There are 4 districts in the region, each one with its own district chief, which has the same responsibilities as a French mayor.