is the capital settlement of the Kerguelen Islands
, French territory
in the south Indian Ocean
. The port station is located on the Gulf of Morbihan
, at . Created in 1944
, it has about 60 winter inhabitants, which can rise to more than 120 in summer.
The station was selected because of its sheltered position, suitable for a runway that was never built. From 1955 to 1957, and using Australian equipment, a French slaughterhouse company called Sidap constructed a sealing factory. The factory opened following the first marriage on the islands, that of Marc Pechenart and Martine Raulin on 16 December 1957. The factory closed in 1960, and the equipment was sent to Réunion in 2005.
Port-aux-France has a shallow seaport
and a quay
for unloading supply ships (including in 2006
, Marion Dufresne 2
). The station, in addition to logistics necessary to its operation, consists of scientific laboratories (biology
), technical installations (meteorology
, satellite tracking, et cetera), and a small medical centre.
The base of Port-aux-Français is equipped with a maregraphic station, recently installed, having 3 measuring devices:
- two tide gauges to measure pressure at sea bottom
- a radar measuring the sea level.
The two marigraphs and the radar send data to a local server, which relays them hourly to the Internet via the satellite system Argos.