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Clipperton Island

Clipperton Island (locally known as Ile Clipperton and sometimes Ile de la Passion) is an uninhabited seven-square-kilometer coral atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, 1,120 kilometers southwest of Mexico, at 10°17"N, 109°13"W.

It has no ports or harbors, only offshore anchorage. Its climate is tropical and humid, with average temperatures 20-32C and rain from May to October.

It is a possession of France administered from French Polynesia by a high commissioner of the Republic; its defense is the responsibility of France. Its data code is IP.

Although 115 species of fish have been identified in the territorial waters of Clipperton Island, the only economic activity is tuna fishing. It has no other natural resources.


Clipperton Island is thought to have been discovered in 1705 by an Englishman Captain Clipperton, and a few years later discovered by French navigators. However at that time neither France or Britain claimed it. This resulted is Mexico claiming the territory in the 19th century, and it was then France presented a counter-claim, since this time Clipperton Island has been a disputed territory.


  • Edwin D. Dickinson, The Clipperton Island Case. American Journal of International Law, Vol. 27, No. 1., pp. 130-133.

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