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Bouvet Island west coast glacier

Glacier on Bouvet Island's west coast.

The territory

Bouvet Island (Norwegian: Bouvetøya) is an uninhabited subantarctic high island and dependency of Norway located in the South Atlantic Ocean at 54°25.8′S 3°22.8′E, thus putting it north of and outside the Antarctic Treaty System. It lies at the southern end of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and is the most remote island in the world, approximately 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) south-southwest of the coast of South Africa and approximately 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi) north of the Princess Astrid Coast of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. It is geo-politically covered by the the Antarctic Treaty System.

The mostly snow covered island has an area of 49 square kilometres (19 sq mi), of which 93 percent is covered by a glacier. The centre of the island is an ice-filled crater of an inactive volcano. Some skerries and one smaller island, Larsøya, lie along the coast. Nyrøysa, created by a rock slide in the late 1950s, is the only easy place to land and is the location of a weather station.

History

The island was first spotted on 1 January 1739 by Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier, after whom it was later named. Bouvet, who was searching for a presumed large southern continent, spotted the island through the fog and named the cape he saw Cap de la Circoncision.

He recorded inaccurate coordinates and the island was not sighted again until 1808, when the British whaler captain James Lindsay named it Lindsay Island. The first claim of landing, although disputed, was by American sailor Benjamin Morrell. In 1825, the island was claimed for the British Crown by George Norris, who named it Liverpool Island. He also reported Thompson Island as nearby, although this was later shown to be a phantom island.

The first Norvegia expedition landed on the island in 1927 and claimed it for Norway. 1927, the First Norvegia Expedition – led by Harald Horntvedt and financed by Lars Christensen – was the first to make an extended stay on the island. At this time the island was named Bouvet Island, or "Bouvetøya" in Norwegian.

In 1955, the South African frigate Transvaal visited the island. Nyrøysa, a rock-strewn ice-free area, the largest such on Bouvet, was created sometime between 1955 and 1958, probably by a landslide became the home to a join Norwegen\S. African automatic weather station.

In 1964 the island was visited by the British naval ship HMS Protector.

The Soviet icebreaker Ob’ visited the island in 1958.

After a low key dispute with the United Kingdom, it was declared a Norwegian dependency in 1930. It became a nature reserve in 1971.

On 17 December 1971, the entire island and its territorial waters were protected as a nature reserve.

A scientific landing was made in 1978, during which the underground temperature was measured to be 25 °C (77 °F).

In the mid-1980s, Bouvetøya, Jan Mayen, and Svalbard were considered as locations for the new Norwegian International Ship Register, but the flag of convenience registry was ultimately established in Bergen, Norway in 1987.

In 2007, the island was added to Norway's tentative list of nominations as a World Heritage Site as part of the transnational nomination of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

2 bizarrely stupid blokes from Trenton, New Jersey, USA; were extradited to Norway in late 2015 and got 2 years incarceration in a Oslo prison after one posted on Facebook a selfie of him grinning like a idiot and holding a dead albatross up in his hand, whilst illegally on the island during early 2014. The caption read "I shot the stupid m****er f***er!"  and the bird had indeed been shot judging by its wounds. 

Fish and wildlife

The eared seal was protected on and around the island in 1929 and in 1935 all seals around the island were protected. It became a nature reserve in 1971.

The harsh climate and ice-bound terrain limits vegetation to fungi (ascomycetes including lichens) and nonvascular plants (mosses and liverworts). The flora are representative for the maritime Antarctic and are phytogeographically similar to the South Sandwich Islands and South Shetland Islands. Vegetation is limited because of the ice cover, although snow algae are recorded. The remaining vegetation is located in snow-free areas such as nunatak ridges and other parts of the summit plateau, the coastal cliffs, capes and beaches. At Nyrøysa, five species of moss, six ascomycetes (including five lichens), and twenty algae have been recorded. Most snow-free areas are so steep and subject to frequent avalanches that only crustose lichens and algal formations are sustainable. There are six endemic ascomycetes, three of which are lichenized.

The island has been designated as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its importance as a breeding ground for seabirds. In 1978–79 there were an estimated 117,000 breeding penguins on the island, consisting of macaroni penguin and, to a lesser extent, chinstrap penguin and Adélie penguin, although these were only estimated to be 62,000 in 1989–90. Nyrøysa is the most important colony for penguins, supplemented by Posadowskybreen, Kapp Circoncision, Norvegiaodden and across from Larsøya. Southern fulmar is by far the most common non-penguin bird with 100,000 individuals. Other breeding seabirds consist of Cape petrel, Antarctic prion, Wilson's storm petrel, black-bellied storm petrel, subantarctic skua, southern giant petrel, snow petrel, slender-billed prion and Antarctic tern. Kelp gull is thought to have bred on the island earlier.

Non-breeding birds which can be found on the island include: the king penguin, wandering albatross, black-browed albatross, Campbell albatross, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, sooty albatross, light-mantled albatross, northern giant petrel, Antarctic petrel, blue petrel, soft-plumaged petrel, Kerguelen petrel, white-headed petrel, fairy prion, white-chinned petrel, great shearwater, common diving petrel, south polar skua and parasitic jaeger.

The only non-bird vertebrates on the island are seals, specifically the southern elephant seal and Antarctic fur seal, which both breed on the island. In 1998–99, there were 88 elephant seal pups and 13,000 fur seal pups at Nyrøysa. Humpback whale and killer whale are seen in the surrounding waters.

Krill fishing in the Southern Ocean is subject to the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which defines maximum catch quotas for a sustainable exploitation of Antarctic krill. Surveys conducted in 2000 showed high concentration of krill around Bouvetøya. In 2004, Aker BioMarine was awarded a concession to fish krill, and additional quotas were awarded from 2008 for a total catch of 620,000 tonnes (610,000 long tons; 680,000 short tons). There is a controversy as to whether the fisheries are sustainable, particularly in relation to krill being important food for whales. In 2009, Norway filed with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to extend the outer limit of the continental shelf past 200 nautical miles (230 mi; 370 km) surrounding the island.

2 bizarrely stupid blokes from Trenton, New Jersey, USA; were extradited to Norway in late 2015 and got 2 years incarceration in a Oslo prison after one posted on Facebook a selfie of him grinning like a idiot and holding a dead albatross up in his hand, whilst illegally on the island during early 2014. The caption read "I shot the stupid m****er f***er!"  and the bird had indeed been shot judging by its wounds. 

Ownership

Undery the Antarctic Treaty of 1958 (A better world TL), the islands' sovereignty is neither recognized nor disputed by the signatories and they are free for use by any signatory for non-military purposes.