Cruising in Tuvalu
In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.
Location: Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the
South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Very low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. The country has no known mineral resources and few exports. Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. Fewer than 1,000 tourists, on average, visit Tuvalu annually. Government revenues largely come from the sale of stamps and coins and remittances from seamen on merchant ships abroad.
About 1,000 Tuvaluans are being repatriated from Nauru, with the decline of phosphate resources there. Substantial income is received annually from an international trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, NZ, and the UK and supported also by Japan and South Korea. Thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this fund has grown from an initial $17 million to over $35 million in 1999. The US Government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu because of payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. In an effort to reduce its dependence on foreign aid, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts of up to 7%.
Tuvalu derives around $1.5 million per year from the lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name. With merchandise exports only a fraction of merchandise imports, continued reliance must be placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and income from overseas investments.
Airports: 1 (2005)
Total: 42 ships (1000 GRT or over) 165,607 GRT/257,474 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region
American Samoa - Australia - Cook Island - Easter Islands (Chile) - Federation of Micronesia - Fiji - Guam - USA (Hawaii) - Kiribati - Marshall Islands - Nauru - New Caledonia - New Zealand - Niue - Norfolk Island - Northern Mariana Islands - Palau - Papua New Guinea - Pitcairn Island - Samoa - Solomon Island - Tokelau - Tonga - Tuvalu - Vanuatu - Wallis and Futuna