Pelagie Islands

Pelagie Islands

Infobox Islands
name = Pelagie Islands

image caption = Lampedusa
image size =

native name = Isole Pelagie
native name link = Italian language
nickname =
location = Mediterranean Sea
coordinates = coord|35|40|34|N|12|36|59|E|region:IT-82_type:isle
archipelago = Pelagie Islands
total islands = 3
major islands = Lampedusa, Linosa, Lampione
area = 25.5 km²
highest mount =
elevation =
country = Italy
country admin divisions title = Region
country admin divisions = Sicily
country admin divisions title 1 = Province
country admin divisions 1 = Agrigento
country admin divisions title 2 =
country admin divisions 2 =
country capital city =
country largest city =
country largest city population =
country leader title =
country leader name =
population = 6,066
population as of = 2004
density =
additional info =
The Pelagie Islands in it|Isole Pelagie, from the Greek "pelaghi" meaning high sea, are the three small islands of Lampedusa, Linosa, and Lampione, located in the Mediterranean Sea between Malta and Tunisia, south of Sicily. To the northwest lie the island of Pantelleria and the Strait of Sicily. Geographically the archipelago belongs to the African continentFact|date=June 2007; politically and administratively the islands fall within the Sicilian province of Agrigento and represent the southernmost part of Italy.

Despite pockets of agriculture, the islands are unnaturally barren due to wanton deforestation and the disappearance of the native olive groves, juniper and carob plantations. Fifty years ago much of the landscape was farmland bounded by dry stone walls but today, the local economy is based on fishing - sponge fishing and canning - supplemented by tourism in Lampedusa.

Marine protected area

Of particular ecological concern in the islands is the protection of the Loggerhead Turtle ("Caretta caretta") which is endangered throughout the Mediterranean as a result of its nesting sites being taken over by tourism. In Italy the beaches of "Pozzolana di Ponente" on Linosa and "Isola dei conigli" on Lampedusa are the last remaining sites where the turtle regularly lays its eggs. The "Area Marina Protetta Isole Pelagie" nature reserve, covering all three islands, was instituted in 2002.

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