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Coral Sea Islands

The Coral Sea Islands Territory includes a grouping of small tropical islands and reefs in the Coral Sea, northeast of Australia, around 18°N, 152°E. They are scattered over a sea area of about 1 million square kilometers, with the Willis Islets the most important, and total over 3000 kilometers of shoreline, but less than three square kilometers of land and no ports or harbors, only offshore anchorage. They are important nesting areas for birds and turtles, but their natural resources are negligible.

The territory is a possession of Australia administered from Canberra by the Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, which has control over the activities of visitors. Defense is the responsibility of Australia, and the territory is visited regularly by the Royal Australian Navy. Australia maintains automatic weather stations on many of the isles and reefs, and claims a 200 nm exclusive fishing zone. There is no permanent population, only a staff of three or four people to run the meteorlogical stations, and no economic activity. The territory's data code is CR.