Ashmore and Cartier Islands

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Ashmore and Cartier Islands

(ăsh`mōr, cär'tē-ā`), unhabited tropical islands, 2 sq mi (5 sq km), E Indian Ocean, a dependency of Australia located 190 mi (300 km) NW of N Western Australia. Ashmore Reef is comprised of three coral islets (West, Middle, and East) enclosed by a coral reef. Cartier Island, 33 mi (53 km) to the southeast, is sandy and also surrounded by a reef. The island and the islets are each about 0.5 mi (0.8 km) wide. The group came under Australian authority in 1931. A national nature reserve, Ashmore Reef abounds with bird and ocean life. Cartier Island, once a bombing range, is now a marine reserve.
References in periodicals archive ?
The boat was spotted Wednesday afternoon by an Australian border protection plane on a routine patrol 60 nautical miles north of Ashmore Island in the Indian Ocean, with a number of people in the water.
News of the arrest came after Australian authorities said they intercepted another boat carrying more than 30 suspected asylum seekers, the 33rd vessel this year, off Ashmore Island late on Sunday.
The two vessels were near Ashmore Island, off the coast of northwest Australia, and had about 56 and 52 passengers, respectively.
Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said up to 400 more were expected at Christmas Island and the even tinier Ashmore Island.
The alert comes as more than 600 boat people travel toward the tiny Pacific island of Nauru aboard Australian navy ship HMAS Manoora and another 259 await their fate on Ashmore Island, 200 miles off the northwest coast.
Defense Minister Peter Reith released the Navy's official record of the rescue, which occurred Thursday in the vicinity of Ashmore Island off Australia's northwest coast.
The other 13 were from a separate group of 237 mainly Iraqi people intercepted by the Manoora near Ashmore Island off northern Australia earlier this month.
Over the weekend, another Indonesian vessel carrying 237 asylum seekers to Ashmore Island off Australia's north coast was intercepted by the Australian navy, and those on board were also transferred to the Manoora, which was traveling through the area.
Thursday's group was exceeded in size only by a boat carrying 353 people that arrived in November 1999 at Ashmore Island, a tiny outcrop just 200 km south of Indonesia's West Timor.