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Canton - Formerly Known As Mary Island


The atoll of low sand and coral in the Central Pacific named Canton is situated 2'50' S, 171' W, or around 266 kilometers below the equator. The island is made up of a 43 km-long, a thinly vegetated strip of land with widths ranging from 50 to 600 meters.

It is surrounded by a lagoon. The majority of the island is encircled by a fringing reef, which is visible in certain places at low tide. Of the eight islands in the Phoenix group, Canton is the most substantial and northernmost.

Over the last 125 years, a few of the islands have been sporadically used for guano mining, coconut farming, aviation refueling, and satellite monitoring. A significant military facility was situated in Canton during World War 1.

Canton's Population

Because of migration to South Tarawa's rapidly expanding metropolitan centers, where more than two-fifths of the population now resides, the population of the majority of the islands has remained mostly steady for many years. The population density of South Tarawa, which includes Betio, Tarawa's port, and economic hub, is quite high.

COPYRIGHT_JANE: Published on https://www.janeresture.com/canton/ by Jane Resture on 2022-10-04T10:05:57.236Z

The majority of residents reside in single-story homes. Kiribati's rural residents live in communities dominated by massive open-sided thatched meetinghouses and churches built in the Western architectural style. On Tarawa, as well as on the outer islands, western-style homes are typical.

Canton Island Satellite View
Canton Island Satellite View

What Is Unique About Cantonese Island?

The Phoenix Islands have formally designated a protected area in 2006. The park was enlarged in 2008 to become the world's biggest marine reserve. Europeans first came to Canton in 1595 while traveling with a Spanish expedition.

Two British whaling ships made the island their first known stop in August 1824. After that, the atoll was given the wife of the shipowner's name, Mary Ballcout's Island. To get to the island, you must use a chartered airplane, cruise ship, or yacht.

Canton Island Tourism

Canton Atoll is a significant marine protected area and a popular tourist attraction for Kiribati. Additionally, it has been recognized as a location of international importance for catch-and-release sport fishing.

It continues to be one of the few refuges on earth protected from the modern world, with no regular and sustainable access. It is a gem of the Pacific, and visitors must get permission and a permit from the PIPA office in Tarawa to visit the island.

Canton Island 1954

Canton Local Buias

There are recently built "buias" in the Kiribati style, easily accessible on the island. They are elevated above the ground, which promotes wind and ventilation to keep the environment cool. For each fisherman, basic cushioned mats and mosquito netting will be set up.

There will be simple, no-flush toilets available, as well as tank water for washing. Please be aware that there will be no powered contemporary conveniences, including air conditioning.

People Also Ask

Does Anyone Live On Canton Island?

The biggest of Kiribati's the Phoenix Islands is Canton Island. The atoll is the sole-inhabited island in the group, and it is also its most northern.

What Kind Of Island Is Canton Island?

Canton Atoll, also known as Abariringa and the biggest and most northern of the Phoenix Islands, is sometimes spelled, Kanton.

Where Are The Canton Islands?

In the South Pacific Ocean, it is an atoll that lies about midway between Hawaii and Fiji.


Most of the land in Canton is coral, which is sometimes covered with short grass and plants. There are trees and bushes close to where the settlement is. Canton is home to 23 different bird species, as well as Polynesian rats, lizards, hermit crabs, and turtles.

On the island, there were two different kinds of spiders. For settlers, Canton's lack of fresh water is a challenge. In cisterns, rainwater is collected. Occasionally, boats from the Republic of Kiribati visit Canton.

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About The Authors

Jane Resture

Jane Resture - Since she embarked on her first world trip in 2002, Jane Resture spent the past decades sharing her personal journey and travel tips with people around the world. She has traveled to over 80 countries and territories, where she experienced other cultures, wildlife she had only read about in books, new foods, new people, and new amazing experiences.Jane believes that travel is for everyone and it helps us learn about ourselves and the world around us. Her goal is to help more people from more backgrounds experience the joy of exploration because she trusts that travel opens the door to the greatest, most unforgettable experiences life can offer and this builds a kinder, more inclusive, more open-minded world.

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