St. Joseph Atoll
Island Group: Amirantes Group
Distance from Mahe: 250km
Area: 1.22 sq.km
The St Joseph Atoll, 250km southwest of Mahe, is situated in close physical proximity to D'Arros Island and the two have always shared a closely tied fortune.
The atoll comprises the islands St. Joseph, Fouquet, Ressource, Ile Varres, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Banc Ferrari, Chien, Banc de Sable, Banc Cocos, Ile Paul and Pelican. St Joseph Island itself comprises a land area of 1000 acres and is the largest island in the group.
St Joseph, like d'Arros, was once a thriving coconut plantation, interspersed with such trees as casuarina, bois mapu, cassant, and bois blanc. It traditionally housed a small population of contract workers from its neighbour who, over the years, have been engaged in the coprah (refined coconut flesh) industry and also in fishing.
The atoll’s lagoon is home to a massive population of sting rays and a healthy number of turtles. Giant blue mud crabs migrate from the depths of the lagoon onto the surrounding flats with the high tides. Bone fish abound as do grouper, lobster and several species of coral fish. Oysters grow in profusion on the coral walls and in the weed beds that cover much of the lagoon's surface.
There is a large colony of frigate birds and numbers of blue heron, crested terns, wimbrels and plovers.