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  BASSA DA INDIA

JEWISH AND KOSHER FRANCE הקהילה היהודית בצרפת: בתי כנסת, בתי חב"ד, אוכל כשר, מסעדות כשרות, מקוואות, מלונות כשרים, ועוד

 
 
 
  BASSAS DA INDIA  
 

BASSAS DA INDIA, BACKGROUND:

 
     
  This atoll is a volcanic rock surrounded by reefs and is awash at high tide. A French possession since 1897, it was placed under the administration of a commissioner residing in Reunion in 1968.  
     
  Location: Southern Africa, islands in the southern Mozambique Channel, about one-half of the way from Madagascar to Mozambique.   
     
  Bassas da India (also called Basse de Judie) is an uninhabited, roughly circular atoll about 10 km (6 mi) in diameter, which corresponds to a total size (including lagoon) of 80 km2 (31 sq mi). It is located in the southern Mozambique Channel, about half-way between Madagascar (which is 385 km (239 mi) to the east) and Mozambique, and 110 km (68 mi) northwest of Europa Island. It rises steeply from the seabed 3000 m below. The reef rim averages around 100 m across and completely encloses a shallow lagoon that has a maximum depth of 15 m Its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 123,700 km2 (47,761 sq mi) is contiguous with that of Europa Island.  
     
  The atoll consists of ten barren rocky islets, with no vegetation, totalling 0.2 km² (.077 sq mi) in area. Those on the north and east sides are 2.1 to 3 m high, and those on the west and south sides 1.2 m The reef is completely covered by the sea from 3 hours before to 3 hours after high tide. The coastline of the reef measures 35.2 km (22 mi). The region is subject to cyclones. The atoll has long been a maritime hazard and is the site of numerous shipwrecks.
 
About 40 and 70 km southwest of Bassas da India are Jaguar Seamount and Hall Tablemount.  
 
     
  History:  
     
  Bassas da India was first recorded by Portuguese explorers in the early sixteenth century. It was first named Baixo da Judia, "Shoal of Judia". "Judia" was the name of a Portuguese ship that ran aground on this reef. This ship was named "Judia" (Jewess in Portuguese), because its owner was a Jewish trader from Portugal. The name became Bassas da India due to transcription errors by cartographers.  
     
  It was also discovered by the Europa in 1774, hence the name "the Europa Rocks".  
     
  "The Malay was lost July 27, 1842, on Europa Rocks in Mozambique Channel"   
     
  In 1897 it became a French possession, later being placed under the administration of a commissioner residing in Réunion in 1968. Madagascar continues to claim sovereignty over the islands.    
     
  Tourism:  
     
  Diving at Bassas Da India requires a permit from the French Government. If you dive without this permit your boat will be asked to leave or may even be confiscated.    
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