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 îles Eparses (Scattered Islands) - Profile

Location

The Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean consist of four small coral islands, an atoll, and a reef in the Indian Ocean, and have constituted the 5th district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF) since February 2007. They belong to France and the Reunion Commissioner has jurisdiction over these uninhabited islands.

Three of the islands - the Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova and Europa - and the Bassas da India atoll, lie in the Mozambique Channel west of Madagascar, while the fourth island, Tromelin, lies about 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Madagascar. Also in the Mozambique Channel is the Banc du Geyser, a reef under French control claimed by Madagascar since 1976. France and the Comoros view the Banc du Geyser as part of the Glorioso Islands.

A permit is required for visiting yachts who wish to visit these islands and should be applied for up to 2 months in advance of your visit. Short stays of up to a few days are tolerated however without a permit, if in transit to Mayotte.

Position 22° 19.72'S, 40° 22.21'E (Europa island)

Clearance

A visa and a permit is required to visit these islands.

See Reunion Formalities for visa information.

Applications for permits must be made at least 2 months prior to the intended visit date. Permits are issued by TAAF (see details below) and the various forms and instructions can be downloaded from their website.

There is a mooring fee and a local tourist tax to pay.

The main anchorage is close to Ile du Lys and the French police are based on Glorieuse Island. They may or may not visit you to check your papers.

Last updated November 2015.

Siège des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises (TAAF)
Rue Gabriel Dejean , 97410 Saint-Pierre , île de La Réunion
Tel:00262 262 967 878
For full details of how to apply for a permit for the Scattered Islands, go to the web link.

Docking

Europa
The only recognized moorings are located on the sandy plateau that borders the reef off the north coast. This anchorage is very exposed to north winds.

Bassas da India
Anchor in a depth of 21m in sand with broken coral, approx. 300m NE of the eastern end of the reef.

Juan de Nova
The only possible anchorage here is in the lagoon off the north coast. This lagoon is exposed to the north wind sector. There is a meteorological station here and visitors are not welcome.

Glorieuse
In 2012, France founded parc naturel marin des Glorieuses, a marine protected area, to preserve the endangered flora and fauna of the islands. There are anchorages offshore and at Île du Lys.

The following anchorage information from SY Mala who visited the Glorieuse Islands in October 2015 and provided the adjacent photo:

There are no dangers on the approaches to the Glorieuse Islands, which consist of two main islands, Île du Lys (N) and Grande Glorieuse (S). There is a reef connecting their eastern sides. If approaching from the NE (i.e. with the wind on passage from the Seychelles to Mayotte) round the N tip of Île du Lys and approach the anchorage from the NNW.

The anchorage is on a large sand bank with depths from 4-8m and just a few low lying coral heads (less than 2m from the bottom). It is possible to anchor at night, following these WP:

11 29.732S / 47 22.814E
11 30.298S / 47 21.907E
11 30.758S / 47 22.084E
11 31.287S / 47 22.086E

The anchorage is at WP 11 31.334S / 47 22.151E in sand in 4-6m (depending on tide) with excellent holding and at least 40m from the nearest coral head (which is only 1m high). Of course, this is only one possibility. If arriving during the day, finding a suitable spot is very simple. The anchorage is sheltered from northerly winds but from swell all the way through from N thru E to S. Navionics as well as CM93 are very accurate and precise.

Tromelin
Anchor to the NW of Tromelin Island in depths of 13m. It is not possible to land here.

Last updated November 2015.

Reunion Island
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Saint Gilles les Bains
Saint-Pierre
îles Eparses (Scattered Islands)
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