The Federal Dependencies of Venezuela are islands scattered across the Caribbean Sea north of the Venezuelan mainland. They are situated between the mainland coast and the Lesser Antilles and are divided into the Insular Region and the Aves Archipelago.
Federal Dependencies of Venezuela
The Federal Dependencies of Venezuela (Dependencias Federales de Venezuela) is a group of Venezuelan islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea, excluding the islands of the state of Nueva Esparta and those islands off the coast of the mainland that are integrated into the adjacent states.
The Federal Dependencies are scattered across the Caribbean Sea north of the Venezuelan mainland. They are situated between the mainland coast and the Lesser Antilles and are divided into the Insular Region and the Aves Archipelago.
The Insular Region (Región Insular) is one of the eight natural regions of Venezuela. It's also one of the ten administrative regions of Venezuela. The Insular Region includes all of the nation's islands. It comprises the state of Nueva Esparta and the Federal Dependencies.
The Insular Region is made up of the following principal islands and islets:
Los Roques Archipelago: A group of over 350 islands and cays located about 80 km (50 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. The Los Roques Archipelago is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life.
La Tortuga Island: A small island located about 80 km (50 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. La Tortuga Island is known for its turtle-nesting beaches and abundant marine life.
La Blanquilla Island: A small island located about 120 km (75 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. La Blanquilla Island is known for its beautiful beaches and abundance of seabirds.
Los Frailes Archipelago: A group of four rock islets located about 130 km (80 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. The Los Frailes Archipelago is known for its rugged cliffs, turquoise waters, and abundant marine life.
Los Monjes Archipelago: Located near the maritime border with Colombia, this archipelago consists of small islands and rocks. It is relatively remote and is primarily used for scientific research and monitoring.
La Sola Island: A small island located about 130 km (80 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. La Sola Island is known for its beautiful beach and abundance of seabirds.
While often associated with the nearby Los Roques Archipelago, the Aves Archipelago is a distinct group of islands and islets. The archipelago includes several islands and cays, with some of the major ones being Aves de Sotavento, Aves de Barlovento, and Aves de Barlovento Sur. These islands vary in size, with Aves de Sotavento being the largest.
The Aves Archipelago has been designated a marine protected area by the Venezuelan government.
Map depicting the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela
The Federal Dependencies are administered by the Ministry of Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace. The islands are inhabited by a small number of people, mostly fishermen and military personnel.
The Federal Dependencies are integral to Venezuela's territorial organization and are governed by the country's federal laws and regulations. Unlike the states and municipalities on the mainland, the Federal Dependencies are not organized into separate states or municipalities. Instead, they are administered as a single unit.
Tourism is a significant economic activity in the Federal Dependencies, especially in places like Los Roques. The region attracts visitors interested in scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and relaxation on pristine beaches. Fishing is an important economic activity for the local communities, particularly for lobster and other seafood.
Venezuela's Federal Dependencies are home to various unique ecosystems and wildlife. They are ecologically significant due to their diverse ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and coastal forests.
The islands are important for nesting seabirds, such as frigatebirds, boobies, and terns. The islands are also home to marine life, including sea turtles, dolphins, and whales.
Several protected areas have been established to preserve the rich marine biodiversity and coral reefs. These conservation efforts contribute to the sustainability of the region's fisheries.
Despite conservation efforts, the fragile ecosystems in the Federal Dependencies are vulnerable to environmental threats, including climate change, coral bleaching, and overfishing.