Antiqua Print Gallery Crozet Islands
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Crozet Islands

The Crozet Islands (French: Îles Crozet; or, officially, Archipel Crozet) are a sub-antarctic archipelago of small islands in the southern Indian Ocean. They form one of the five administrative districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
The Crozet Islands were first discovered by the expedition of Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, a French explorer, who landed on January 24, 1772 on Île de la Possession, claiming the archipelago for France. He named the islands after his second-in-command Jules Crozet (He had already named Marion Island after himself).
In the early 19th century, the islands were often visited by sealers, to the extent that the seals had been nearly exterminated by 1835. Subsequently, whaling was the main activity around the islands, especially by the whalers from Massachusetts. In 1841 there were a dozen whaleships around the islands. Within a couple of years this had increased to twenty from the United States alone. Such exploitation was short-lived, and the islands were rarely visited for the rest of the century.
Shipwrecks occurred frequently at the Crozet Islands. The British sealer, Princess of Wales, sank in 1821, and the survivors spent two years on the islands. The Strathmore was wrecked in 1875. In 1887, the French Tamaris was wrecked and her crew stranded on Île des Cochons. They tied a note to the leg of an Albatross, which was found seven months later in Fremantle. Alas, the crew was never recovered. Because shipwrecks around the islands were so common, for some time the Royal Navy dispatched a ship every few years to look for stranded survivors.
France originally administered the islands as a dependency of Madagascar, but they became part of the French Southern Territories in 1955. In 1938, the Crozet Islands were declared a nature reserve. In 1961, a first research station was set up, but it wasn't until 1963 that the permanent station Alfred Faure opened at Port Albert on Île de la Possession (both named after the first leader of the station). The station is staffed by 18 to 30 people (depending on the season) and does meteorological, biological, and geological research and maintains a seismograph.

(Source Wikipedia)