Tristán da Cunha is the most important island in a South Atlantic archipelago, some 2,400 km west of Cape Town in South Africa and under Saint Helena’s jurisdiction. The islands are of volcanic origin and cover a total area of 201 km2 distributed as follows: Tristán da Cunha (98 km2), Inaccesible (10 km2, 32 km west of Tristán da Cunha), Nightingale Islands (2 km2 in the same distance only) to the south), Diego Alvarez (Gough Island, 91 km2, 350 km south of Tristán da Cunha).
According to indexdotcom, the population (300 in 2000) is concentrated in Tristán da Cunha, where most are employed in the administration or in a factory that processes lobster. In 1961, a volcanic eruption occurred on the island that had to be evacuated, only to be resettled in 1963. On Gough Island, a small meteorological station operated by the South African government operates. The official language is English and the predominant religion is Protestantism. Administrator Brian P. Baldwin represents the government of Saint Helena. In addition, there is an advisory council with 8 elected members and 3 appointed. It has both executive and legislative functions.
On January 1, 1997, a South African company was granted a concession on fishing around the islands for a 10-year period. Like the residents of Saint Helena, the 300 residents of Tristán da Cunha demanded British citizenship during the governor’s visit to the island.
In May 2001, the island was ravaged by a storm that destroyed most of the infrastructure. The United Kingdom allocated US $ 106,000 to start reconstruction work.
The official catalog of the International Union of Nature (IUCN) published in November 2003, a number of species in the islands of Tristán Da Cunha and Ascención face a sad future. They are disappearing as their natural habitat is wiped out and the invasion of livestock.
In June 2006, a hurricane ravaged the island’s shores, causing major damage to the port and interrupted traffic connections on the island for several days.
In February 2008, a fiery fire destroyed the fish factory and 4 generators supplying power to the community. A month later, 4 new generators were installed.
The island lies in the South Atlantic anomaly, where the Earth’s magnetic field is unusually weak. In November 2008, a geomagnetic observatory on the island was inaugurated by the Danish DMI and DTU Space.
In March 2011, the freighter MS Oliva landed on Nightingale Island and several tons of fuel oil ran into the ocean, hitting the island’s stock of Rockhopper penguins. The animals had to be transported to Tristan da Cunha to be cleaned.
In 2011, Mark Andrew Capes was appointed new British ambassador to the islands.