Jurisdiction Project

Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, an archipelago off the south coast of Newfoundland, Canada, is a self-governing overseas territorial collectivity of France. Saint-Pierre et Miquelon’s economy was based primarily on fishing; however, the cod moratorium declared for Newfoundland in 1992 had a devastating effect on the French fishing industry. Furthermore, an ongoing dispute between France and Canada regarding maritime boundaries has also affected the fishing industry for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. In 1985, during negotiations to resolve the Canada-France boundary dispute, France changed the status of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon from a department to a territorial collectivity, resulting in greater autonomy for the archipelago from France and withdrawal from the European Union. As well as being a self-governing territory, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon abides by the French Constitution of 1958.

St.-Pierre et Miquelon includes 8 small islands in the archipelago, including Langlade, L’ile aux Vainqueurs, L’ile aux Pigeons, the Grand Columbier, L’ile Verte, and L’ile aux Marins. Total area: 242 km2; land: 242 km2; water: 0 km2. Coastline: 120 km. Highest point: Morne de la Grande Montagne 240 m; lowest point Atlantic Ocean 0 m.

Northern North America, islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland (Canada). St. Pierre and Miquelon do not observe daylight savings time.

Latitude and Longitude:
46 50 N Longitude, 56 20 W Latitude.

Time Zone:

Total Land Area:


Cold and wet with much mist and fog; spring and autumn are windy.

Natural Resources:
fish, deepwater ports


Total GDP:
2003 44,330,000.00 USD

Per Capita GDP:

% of GDP per Sector:
  Primary Secondary Tertiary

% of Population Employed by Sector
  Primary Secondary Tertiary

External Aid/Remittances:
approximately $60 million in annual grants from France

Real Growth Rate: 4% (2003)

Labour Force:
1999 3,261
1997 3,000
1996 3,000

Year: Unemployment Rate (% of pop.)
1997 9.8%

fish-processing, supply base for fishing fleets

Niche Industry:
Tours around the islands by bus, or on foot; hiking and birdwatching; museums and landmarks which are deeply rooted in historical culture; Basque festival which lasts for four days; a slideshow and exhibition shows how the rumrunners turned the island into their illegal trade.



Imports and Exports:

Tot. Value of Imports 0.00 ()
From Eu:
Import Partners (EU:)
Partners Outside EU:
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Partners Outside EU::
Export Partners:
Main Imports:
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Number of Airports:
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon has its own airline, Air Saint-Pierre. The local airline offers connecting flights between Saint-Pierre and St. John’s NL, Sydney NS, Halifax NS, Moncton NB, and Montreal QC. Fares are competitive with other airlines.

Number of Main Ports:
Ferry service offered from Fortune, Newfoundland to Saint-Pierre. The ferry does not accommodate cars, so tourists and visitors must park on Canadian soil in Fortune before getting on the ferry. The ferry also travels from Saint-Pierre to Miquelon. It does not, however, travel between the other islands in the archipelago. Cruise ships often sail into Saint-Pierre harbour to visit (including Holland America).



Rental car agencies are available on Saint-Pierre. There are also bus tours and taxi tours on both Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Cars can also travel to Fortune, Newfoundland, park on Canadian soil, and take the ferry across to Saint-Pierre.


Other Forms of Transportation:

Economic Zones:
There is a provision for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon regarding economic zones under the 2001 overseas association decision, but this provision is not used or enforced at this time. Currently, only Canadian fishing products are being processed in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and are therefore, not subject to European duties.

Energy Policy:

Year Total Energy Production (Mwh) Thermic (Mwh) Geothermic (Mwh) Other (Mwh) Total Energy Consumption (Mwh) Domestic (Mwh) Commercial (Mwh) Public Service (Mwh) Industry (Mwh) Public Lighting (Mwh)


Official Currency:
Euro (EUR)

Banking and Insurance:
Number of Banks and Credit Unions:
Number of Agricultural Credit Unions:
Number of Insurance Companies:

 Saint-Pierre and Miquelon have several banks on the islands, including the Banque de France, Banque des Iles St. Pierre et Miquelon, and Credit Saint Perrais. Although the official currency is the Euro, Canadian and American dollars are widely accepted. Also available are locally established insurance companies that are representatives of larger international insurance companies.

Financial Services:
There are no additional financial services such as offshore business in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon at this time, but it is something that the archipelago is looking into for the future through their cooperation with other European overseas countries and territories.

Phone system is integrated into the French National Phone System. No cybercafes available in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon; however, if internet access is desired, it is possible to bring a phone plug adapter for French phone outlets. Tourism websites relating to travel from Canada to the archipelago extensive. Available in English and/or French.

Public Ownership:

Land Use:
Arable land: 13.04%; permanent crops 0%; other: 86.96% (2001).

vegetables, poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs, fish.

Marine Activity:

territorial sea: 12 nautical miles; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles.

Marine Life:

Critical Issues:
Boundary dispute between France and Canada: Canada and France has been in dispute regarding the fishing boundaries of Newfoundland and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon for over twenty years. Failure to resolve the issue has caused fishing management problems for both countries. In 1989, both countries reached an agreement to send the dispute to international arbitration. There are three distinct features in this dispute. First, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are completely surrounded by Canadian waters and are, therefore, under Canadian jurisdiction. This makes fishing for cod a problem because of recent changes to the fishing laws (ie: cod moratorium). Second, the question arises regarding whether or not Saint-Pierre and Miquelon should have the same right to the exclusive economic zone as Canada. France agrees that they should; Canada, disagrees and says no they should not have the same access because this will cause problems with catch quotas. The third key feature of the dispute is regarding historic fishing rights. Various treaties have guaranteed French fishermen special rights to fish in specific areas along the east coast of Canada ever since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The most recent agreement to recognize this is the Canada-France agreement signed in 1972. Canada, is pushing to have this clause in the agreement amended, and France opposes the amendment. France eventually conceded and signed an agreement giving Saint-Pierre and Miquelon slightly less than 25% of the desired fishing zone. In 1994, new agreements were signed between Canada and France with new approval on the fishing rights (including zone and catch quotas) for a ten-year period. This agreement is now under review for potential changes or amendments as necessary.


Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are a part of France, and the archipelago is known as a Territoire d’outre mer (TOM). It is an overseas territory of France and is not a member of the European Union (EU).

Political System:
France has an original political system because the country has an executive headed by two officials: the President and the Prime Minister. The French Constitution establishes a semi-presidential system where the President has a significant influence, but the decision-making power lies mainly in the French National Assembly. The Chief of State is the President of the Republic of France. The French President is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The President appoints a Prefect to govern each overseas department, and this appointment is made on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior. The Prefect is assisted by two secretary generals and two under-prefects. The Heads of the Government are the President of the General Council and the President of the Regional Council. The Presidents of the General and Regional Councils are elected by their respective members. The Legislative Branch consists of the General Council and the Regional Council; members of both councils are elected by popular vote., and they serve six-year terms. Saint-Pierre and Miquelon elect one representative to the French Senate, and they elect one representative to the French National Assembly. France is a unitary state, meaning that its subdivisions do not have constitutional status. As such, various legal subdivisions (regions, departments, and communes) have various attributions, and the national government is prohibited from intruding into their legal normal operations.

Political Parties:
PRG; Rassemblement pour la Republique (RFR) – now (UMP); Socialist Party; Union pour la Democratie Francaise (UDF).

Important Legislation:
The French Constitution of 1958: As per the Constitution, territorial units include communes, regions, and departments, and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are considered to be a territorial unit. Therefore, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (and all territorial units) may make decisions in matters within their own power. Territorial units shall be self-governing through elected councils and have power to make regulations at a municipal level. Matters of national interest, administrative supervision, and the observance of the law are handled by the State Representative (representing the national government).

Principal Taxes:
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon create revenue from customs, business and individual taxation, and they receive substantial transfers from France. Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is a territorial collectivity of France, there is a local tax and a customs duties code, and revenue from these sources remains in the archipelago.

Associated Power:
Republic of France

Residents of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon have full French citizenship, and are entitled to all the same services as the residents of metropolitan France, including education, health, property ownership, taxation, etc.

Universal Postal Union (UPU); World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).


Population age (2004): 0-14: 1,718; 15-64: 4,543; 65+ years: 734.

Island Area (km sq.) Population % of Total Population

Year Resident Population

Age of Population: 0-14 15-24 25-49 50-64 65 and up
2004 1718 0 0 0 734


- 4.86 migrants / 1 000 population (2004)

Crude Birth Rate:
2004 14.5%

Life Expedctancy:
Birth Rate (2004): 14.5 births /1000 population; Life Expectancy (2005): 78.46 years; Death Rate (2004): 6.72 deaths /1000 population.

Crude Death Rate:
2004 6.72%

Basques and Bretons (French fisherman)

Class Division:

French (official)

Roman Catholic 99%

 99% of population age 15 and over can read and write

Education System:
French is the language of instruction in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Compulsory primary education is available for students aged 6 – 16. This education is provided mainly by Roman Catholic schools. There is also a small secondary and vocational educational system. Students wishing to pursue post-secondary education usually go to France. In 2002, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon signed an agreement with Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. The agreement allows up to 4 students from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon to attend university at Dalhousie at Canadian tuition rates. Students are also eligible for scholarships, provided they meet all necessary requirements. This agreement is beneficial for Saint-Pierrais students because Dalhousie is much closer to home for their education as opposed to France. In exchange for allowing Saint-Pierrais students to attend Dalhousie, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon will offer annually a term of French immersion at the high school level to a selected Dalhousie student at no cost to the university or to the student.

Total Pre-schools:()
Total Primary Schools  
First Level:
Second Level:
Third Level:
Total Secondary Schools:
Total Professional Schools


Number of Schools per Island:


Students Enrolled:


Medical Services:
Health and medical services in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are exceptional because residents of the archipelago receive the same level of health care as provided in metropolitan France. The archipelago has the same social legislation in effect as France, making the standard of living on the islands relatively high. Public and private health care services are available in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon just as they are in France.


 Saint-Pierre and Miquelon were originally discovered by Eskimos and Beothuk Indians because these peoples travelled to the islands on fishing expeditions. Among many explorers in the 16th century, Jaques Cartier named Saint-Pierre when he landed there for a short stop-over on his second trip to Canada. By the end of the 16th century, the Basque fishermen had named Miquelon. The archipelago’s convenient geographical location was of interest to the French because of the abundance of fish. As a result, the French began to settle on the islands and established large curing and salting operations. Soon, rivalry began between the French and the English, and ownership of the islands fluctuated for several years. Finally, in 1841, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon were recognized as a French overseas territory. Prohibition in the United States was a beneficial event for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon because any boats visited the islands and delivered remarkable quantities of alcohol that was supposed to be distributed to the United States. This trafficking brought in substantial revenue for the archipelago. However, when prohibition ceased, this inevitably caused an economic crisis for the islands. The significance of the fishing industry for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon caused some tension between France and Canada, primarily because of the islands’ geographic location. Canada asserted possession of 370km of water around these islands, and France reciprocated, resulting in tension between the two countries. Negotiations with international mediation were necessary. Agreements were eventually signed in 1992, but the implementation of the cod moratorium in Newfoundland posed a new problem for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon because they, too, were compelled to abide by the ban. Canada and France then entered negotiations again to re-establish catch quotas for both countries’ islands, but not before unemployment rates increased, port activity decreased, and France imposed a budgetary restriction on Saint-Pierre and Miquelon because of their own financial pressures. The French government had to compensate for the current economic crisis in their overseas territory, and did so through development programs, subsidies for fishermen, etc. Today, various measures of financial assistance are in place to help the residents of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.


Recent Significant Events:

Music, Dance, Handicraft and Patrimony:


Dalhousie signs new education agreement with Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. (2002, October 11). Retrieved April 12, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://dal.ca/news/media/2002/2002-10-11.html.html; Day, D. (1992). The Saint Pierre and Miquelon Dispute: Towards a Further rEdefinition of French Fishing Rights in the Northwest Atlantic. Ocean and Coastal Management. 18, 371-403. Healthcare in France. FrenchEntree.com. (2005). Retrieved April 16, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.frenchentree.com/fe-health; History of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Infoplease. (2005). Retrieved April 11, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860893.html; Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. (2005, June 30). Retrieved April 11, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.st-pierre-et-miquelon.com/english/index.php; Saint Pierre and Miquelo. The World Factbook. (2005). Retrieved April 7, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/sb.html; St. Pierre and Miquelon. National Geographic. (2005). Retrieved April 14, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachines/profiles/sb.html; Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, Fr. Global Resource Directory. (2003). Retrieved April 19, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.globaltower.com/pages/northamerica/saint-pierre-et-miquelon.html; St. Pierre et Miquelon. St. Pierre et Miquelon. (2005). Retrieved April 17, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://spminfo.com/en/; Sinding, R. (1999). Rallying the Saint Pierre and Miquelon Islands to the Free French Movement at the end of 1941 and the Conflict between Charles de Gualle and Admiral Muselier. Guerres Mondailes et Conflits Contemporains. 194, 163-172. The 1959 Constitution and its amendments. Presidence de la Republique. (1997). Retrieved February 22, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.elysee.fr/elysee/anglais/the_institutions/founding_texts/the_1958_constitutions/the_ 1958_constitution.20245.html; Where to go: Eastern Region. Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. (n.d). Retrieved April 9, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.gov.nf.ca/tourism/wheretogo/eastern/default.htm; Ville de Saint-Pierre. Ville de Saint-Pierre. (2005). Retrieved April 20, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.mairie-stpierre.fr/index.htm;


Useful Links:

Please address queries to:
Institute of Island Studies
University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI)
550 University Ave
Charlottetown, PE, Canada, C1A 4P3

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