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Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Introduction

Saint Pierre and Miquelon (săN pyĕr, mēkəlôNˈ) [key], French territorial collectivity (2005 est. pop. 7,000), 93 sq mi (241 sq km), consisting of nine small islands S of Newfoundland, Canada, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The capital is Saint Pierre on the island of the same name. Miquelon (83 sq mi/215 sq km) is the largest island. Most of the population live in or near the capital and earn their living by fishing. The islands are barren, rocky, and often fogbound, but their proximity to the Grand Banks makes them a valuable base for fishermen. Fish processing and the servicing of fishing fleets are the main industries. There is some tourism. In April and October, Norman and Breton fishermen come from France to fish. There is a 19-seat legislature, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon elect one representative to the French Senate and one to the French National Assembly. A thirty-year boundary dispute between France and Canada over offshore fishing rights was resolved in 1992. The French zone consists of waters within a 24-mi (38.6-km) limit of the two islands and also includes a 10.5-mi-wide (16.9-km) corridor leading south 200 mi (322 km) to international waters.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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