Chafarinas Islands

Islas Chafarinas

Islas Chafarinas (Chafarinas Islands) are a group of three small islets located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Morocco with an aggregate area of 0.525 km², 45 km to the east of Melilla and 3.3 km off the Moroccan town of Ra'su l-Ma'. Islas Chafarinas are one of the Spanish occupied territories on North Africa off the Moroccan coast known as Plazas de soberanía.

Islas Chafarinas are made up of three islands (with areas in hectares):

  • Isla del Congreso 25,6 ha
  • Isla Isabel II 15,3 ha (with garrison)
  • Isla del Rey 11,6 ha

Under Spanish control since 1847, there is a 190 man military garrison on Isla Isabel II, the only stable population on the small archipelago, down from 426 people in 1900 and 736 people in 1910.

The islands had a certain relevance in Spanish environmentalist circles during the 1980s and 1990s as the very last individual of Mediterranean Monk Seal in Spanish territory lived there, until it disappeared in the 1990s

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