The "Marion-Dufresne" in the French Southern Territories

Here is the first extract from the logbook kept on the occasion of my participation in "OP3-2014" (for "port operation", the name given to the passages of the Marion-Dufresne in the districts) as a member of the Council advisory of the territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF), aboard the Marion-Dufresne, a multi-purpose vessel which provides supplies and relief for personnel from the bases of the French Southern Territories districts.

Recall that the territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF) is an overseas collectivity created in 1955, made up of the Crozet archipelago, the Kerguelen archipelago, the Saint-Paul and Amsterdam islands, Adélie (in Antarctica) and the Scattered Islands since 2007 (Europa, Juan de Nova, Bassas da India, Glorieuses and Tromelin), roughly around Madagascar, on the Mozambique Channel or Mauritius side.

The TAAF are placed under the authority of a prefect, representative of the State and responsible for the community, represented in each of the districts by a "district chief".They have a budget of around 30 million.euros from own resources - including more than a million from philately - and a "balancing subsidy" paid by the ministry of overseas and aid from the ministry of ecology.

And so, the southern districts, lost in the middle of the Indian Ocean, almost all to the south of the "roaring forties", are only accessible by boat, from Reunion: Crozet is four days at sea, Kerguelen six....No residents at the TAAF, but researchers, scientists and "logisticians" to support all this little world, for missions of one to fifteen months approximately, which must therefore be supplied and "raised".with the help of the Marion-Dufresne, a 120-meter building that is both an oceanographic vessel, container ship, oil tanker ...

Posted Date: 2020-12-13

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