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Coordinates: 9°N 168°E / 9°N 168°E / 9; 168

Republic
Republic
of the Marshall IslandsAolepān Aorōkin M̧ajeļ  (Marshallese)

Flag

Seal

Motto: "Jepilpilin ke ejukaan""Accomplishment through joint effort"Anthem: "Forever Marshall Islands!  (English)"Status Sovereign state
Sovereign state
in free association with the United StatesCapitaland largest cityMajuro[1]7°7′N 171°4′E / 7.117°N 171.067°E / 7.117; 171.067Official languagesEnglishMarshalleseEthnic groups (2006[2])92.1% Marshallese5.9% Mixed Marshallese2% OthersDemonym(s)MarshalleseGovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic• President Hilda Heine• Speaker Kenneth Kedi[3] LegislatureNitijelaIndependence from the United States•  Self-government 1979• Compact of Free Association October 21, 1986 Area • Total181.43 km2 (70.05 sq mi) (189th)• Water (%)n/a (negligible)Population• 2018 estimate58,413[4][5] (203rd)• 2011 census53,158[6]• Density293.0/km2 (758.9/sq mi) (28th)GDP (PPP)2019 estimate• Total$215 million• Per capita$3,789[7]GDP (nominal)2019 estimate• Total$220 million• Per capita$3,866[7]CurrencyUnited States dollar (USD)Time zoneUTC+12 (MHT)Date formatMM/DD/YYYYDriving siderightCalling code+692 ISO 3166 codeMHInternet TLD.mh 2005 estimate.

The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands (Marshallese: Aolepān Aorōkin M̧ajeļ),[note 1] is an island country and a United States
United States
associated state near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country's population of 53,158 people (at the 2011 Census[6]) is spread out over 29 coral atolls,[2] comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The capital and largest city is Majuro. The islands share maritime boundaries with the Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia
to the west, Wake Island
Island
to the north,[note 2] Kiribati
Kiribati
to the southeast, and Nauru
Nauru
to the south. About 52.3% of Marshall Islanders (27,797 at the 2011 Census) live on Majuro.[2] Data from the United Nations
United Nations
indicates an estimated population in 2018 of 58,413. In 2016, 73.3% of the population were defined as being "urban". The UN also indicates a population density of 295 per km2 (765 people per mi2) and its projected 2020 population is 53,263.[8] Micronesian colonists reached the Marshall Islands
Islands
using canoes circa 2nd millennium BC, with interisland navigation made possible using traditional stick charts. They eventually settled here.[9] Islands
Islands
in the archipelago were first explored by Europeans in the 1520s, starting with Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer in the service of Spain, Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano
and Miguel de Saavedra. Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar reported sighting an atoll in August 1526.[9] Other expeditions by Spanish and English ships followed. The islands derive their name from John Marshall, who visited in 1788. The islands were historically known by the inhabitants as "jolet jen Anij" (Gifts from God).[10] Spain
Spain
claimed the islands in 1592, and the European powers recognized its sovereignty over the islands in 1874. They had been part of the Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies
formally since 1528. Later, Spain
Spain
sold some of the islands to the German Empire
German Empire
in 1885, and they became part of German New Guinea that year, run by the trading companies doing business in the islands, particularly the Jaluit
Jaluit
Company.[9] In World War I the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
occupied the Marshall Islands, which in 1920, the League of Nations
League of Nations
combined with other former German territories to form the South Pacific Mandate. During World War II, the United States took control of the islands in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign in 1944. Nuclear testing began on Bikini Atoll
Bikini Atoll
in 1946 and concluded in 1958. The US government formed the Congress of Micronesia
Micronesia
in 1965, a plan for increased self-governance of Pacific islands. The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
Islands
in 1979 provided independence to the Marshall Islands, whose constitution and president (Amata Kabua) were formally recognized by the US. Full sovereignty or self-government was achieved in a Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
with the United States. Marshall Islands
Islands
has been a member of the Pacific Community
Pacific Community
(SPC) since 1983 and a United Nations
United Nations
member state since 1991.[9] Politically, the Marshall Islands
Islands
is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, with the US providing defense, subsidies, and access to U.S.-based agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the United States
United States
Postal Service. With few natural resources, the islands' wealth is based on a service economy, as well as some fishing and agriculture; aid from the United States
United States
represents a large percentage of the islands' gross domestic product. The country uses the United States
United States
dollar as its currency. In 2018, it also announced plans for a new cryptocurrency to be used as legal tender.[11][12] The majority of the citizens of the Republic
Republic
of Marshall Islands, formed in 1982, are of Marshallese descent, though there are small numbers of immigrants from the United States, China, Philippines, and other Pacific islands. The two official languages are Marshallese, which is one of the Malayo-Polynesian languages; and English. Almost the entire population of the islands practices some religion: three-quarters of the country follows either the United Church of Christ – Congregational in the Marshall Islands
Islands
(UCCCMI) or the Assemblies of God.[13]

Contents

1 History 2 Geography

2.1 Shark sanctuary 2.2 Territorial claim on Wake Island 2.3 Climate 2.4 Fauna

2.4.1 Birds 2.4.2 Marine 2.4.3 Arthropods

3 Demographics

3.1 Religion 3.2 Health

4 Government

4.1 Foreign affairs and defense

5 Culture 6 Sports

6.1 Football 6.2 Marshall Islands
Islands
Baseball
Baseball
/ Softball
Softball
Federation

7 Economy

7.1 Shipping 7.2 Labor 7.3 Taxation 7.4 Foreign assistance 7.5 Agriculture 7.6 Industry 7.7 Fishing 7.8 Energy

8 Education 9 Transportation 10 Media and communications 11 See also 12 Notes 13 References 14 Bibliography 15 Further reading 16 External links

16.1 Government 16.2 General information 16.3 News media 16.4 Other

History[edit] Manila
Manila
Galleon in the Marianas and Carolinas, c. 1590 Boxer Codex
Boxer Codex
Marshall Islanders sailing in traditional costume, c. 1899–1900 Marshall Islanders sailing, with sails brailed (reefed), c. 1899–1900 Battle of Kwajalein
Battle of Kwajalein
in 1944 Bikini Islanders departing from Bikini Atoll
Bikini Atoll
in March 1948 Main article: History of the Marshall Islands This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Marshall Islands" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Evidence suggests that around 3,000 years ago successive waves of human migrants from Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
spread across the Western Pacific Ocean, populating its many small islands. The Marshall Islands
Islands
were settled by Micronesians in the 2nd millennium BC. Little is known of the islands' early history. Early settlers traveled between the islands by canoe using traditional stick charts.[14] The Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar landed there in 1526, and the archipelago came to be known as "Los Pintados" ("The Painted (Ones)", possibly referring to the indigenous people first found there), "Las Hermanas" ("The Sisters") and "Los Jardines" ("The Gardens") within the Spanish Empire. It first fell within the jurisdiction of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and was then administered by Madrid, through the Captaincy General of the Philippines, upon the independence of Latin America and the dissolution of New Spain
Spain
starting in 1821. American whaling ships visited the islands in the 19th century. The first on record was the Awashonks in 1835 and last was the Andrews Hicks in 1905.[15] The islands were only formally possessed by Spain
Spain
for much of their colonial history, and were generally considered part of the "Carolines"[16] (present-day Federated State of Micronesia, Palau, and the US Territories of Marianas and Guam, as well as the Marshall Islands themselves), or alternatively the "Nuevas Filipinas" ("New Philippines"). The islands were mostly left to their own affairs except for short-lived religious missions (documented in 1668 and 1731) during the 16th and 17th centuries. They were largely ignored by European powers except for cartographic demarcation treaties between the Iberian Empires (Portugal and Castilian Spain) in 1529, 1750 and 1777. The archipelago corresponding to the present-day country was independently named by Krusenstern, after British explorer John Marshall, who visited them together with Thomas Gilbert in 1788, en route from Botany Bay
Botany Bay
to Canton with two ships of the First Fleet, and started to establish German and British trading posts, which were not formally contested by Spain. The Marshall Islands
Islands
were formally claimed by Spain
Spain
in 1874 through its capital in the East Indies, Manila. This marked the start of several strategic moves by the German Empire
German Empire
during the 1870s and 80s to annex them (claiming them to be "by chance unoccupied").[17] This policy culminated in a tense naval episode in 1885, which did not degenerate into a conflict due to the poor readiness of Spain's naval forces and the unwillingness for open military action from the German side. Following papal mediation and German compensation of $4.5 million, Spain
Spain
reached an agreement with Germany
Germany
in 1885: the 1885 Hispano-German Protocol of Rome. This accord established a protectorate and set up trading stations on the islands of Jaluit (Joló) and Ebon to carry out the flourishing copra (dried coconut meat) trade. Marshallese Iroij (high chiefs) continued to rule under indirect colonial German administration, rendered tacitly effective by the wording in the 1885 Protocol, which demarcated an area subject to Spanish sovereignty (0-11ºN, 133-164ºE) omitting the Eastern Carolines, that is, the Marshall and Gilbert archipelagos, where most of the German trading posts were located.[18] The disputes were rendered moot after the selling of the whole Caroline archipelago to Germany
Germany
13 years later.[19] At the beginning of World War I, Japan
Japan
assumed control of the Marshall Islands. The Japanese headquarters was established at the German center of administration, Jaluit. On January 31, 1944 American forces landed on Kwajalein
Kwajalein
atoll and U.S. Marines and Army troops later took control of the islands from the Japanese on February 3, following intense fighting on Kwajalein
Kwajalein
and Enewetak
Enewetak
atolls. In 1947, the United States, as the occupying power, entered into an agreement with the UN Security Council to administer much of Micronesia, including the Marshall Islands, as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. From 1946 to 1958, it served as the Pacific Proving Grounds
Pacific Proving Grounds
for the United States
United States
and was the site of 67 nuclear tests on various atolls.[20] The world's first hydrogen bomb, codenamed "Mike", was tested at the Enewetak
Enewetak
atoll in the Marshall Islands
Islands
on November 1, (local date) in 1952, by the United States.

Mushroom cloud from the largest atmospheric nuclear test the United States ever conducted, Castle Bravo Nuclear testing began in 1946 on Bikini Atoll
Bikini Atoll
after residents were evacuated. Over the years, 67 weapon tests were conducted, including the 15-megaton Castle Bravo
Castle Bravo
hydrogen bomb test, which produced significant fallout in the region. The testing concluded in 1958. Over the years, just one of over 60 islands was cleaned by the US government, and the inhabitants are still waiting for the 2 billion dollars in compensation assessed by the Nuclear Claims Tribunal. Many of the islanders and their descendants still live in exile, as the islands remain contaminated with high levels of radiation.[21] A significant radar installation was constructed on Kwajalein atoll.[22] On May 1, 1979, in recognition of the evolving political status of the Marshall Islands, the United States
United States
recognized the constitution of the Marshall Islands
Islands
and the establishment of the Government of the Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands. The constitution incorporates both American and British constitutional concepts. There have been a number of local and national elections since the Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands
Islands
was founded. The United Democratic Party, running on a reform platform, won the 1999 parliamentary election, taking control of the presidency and cabinet. The islands signed a Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
with the United States in 1986. Trusteeship was ended under United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 683 of December 22, 1990. Until 1999 the islanders received US$180M for continued American use of Kwajalein
Kwajalein
atoll, US$250M in compensation for nuclear testing, and US$600M in other payments under the compact. Despite the constitution, the government was largely controlled by Iroij. It was not until 1999, following political corruption allegations, that the aristocratic government was overthrown, with Imata Kabua
Imata Kabua
replaced by the commoner Kessai Note. The Runit Dome was built on Runit Island
Island
to deposit U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. There are ongoing concerns around deterioration of the waste site and a potential radioactive spill.[23]

Geography[edit] Main articles: Geography of the Marshall Islands, Administrative divisions of the Marshall Islands, and Effects of climate change on island nations Map of the Marshall Islands Aerial view of Majuro, one of the many atolls that make up the Marshall Islands Beach scenery at the islet of Eneko, Majuro View of the coast of Bikini Atoll
Bikini Atoll
from above View of Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands
Islands
sit atop ancient submerged volcanoes rising from the ocean floor, about halfway between Hawaii
Hawaii
and Australia,[10] north of Nauru
Nauru
and Kiribati, east of the Federated States of Micronesia, and south of the disputed U.S. territory of Wake Island, to which it also lays claim.[24] The atolls and islands form two groups: the Ratak (sunrise) and the Ralik (sunset). The two island chains lie approximately parallel to one another, running northwest to southeast, comprising about 750,000 square miles (1,900,000 km2) of ocean but only about 70 square miles (180 km2) of land mass.[10] Each includes 15 to 18 islands and atolls.[25] The country consists of a total of 29 atolls and five individual islands situated in about 180,000 square miles (470,000 km2) of the Pacific.[24] The largest atoll with a land area of 6 square miles (16 km2) is Kwajalein. It surrounds a 655-square-mile (1,700 km2) lagoon.[26] Twenty-four of the atolls and islands are inhabited. The remaining atolls are uninhabited due to poor living conditions, lack of rain, or nuclear contamination. The uninhabited atolls are:

Ailinginae Atoll Bikar (Bikaar) Atoll Bikini Atoll Bokak Atoll Erikub Atoll Jemo Island Nadikdik Atoll Rongerik Atoll Toke Atoll Ujelang Atoll The average altitude above sea level for the entire country is 7 feet (2.1 m).[24]

Shark sanctuary[edit] In October 2011, the government declared that an area covering nearly 2,000,000 square kilometers (772,000 sq mi) of ocean shall be reserved as a shark sanctuary. This is the world's largest shark sanctuary, extending the worldwide ocean area in which sharks are protected from 2,700,000 to 4,600,000 square kilometers (1,042,000 to 1,776,000 sq mi). In protected waters, all shark fishing is banned and all by-catch must be released. However, some have questioned the ability of the Marshall Islands
Islands
to enforce this zone.[27]

Territorial claim on Wake Island[edit] The Marshall Islands
Islands
also lays claim to Wake Island.[28] While Wake has been administered by the United States
United States
since 1899, the Marshallese government refers to it by the name Enen-kio.[29]

Climate[edit] Average monthly temperatures (red) and precipitation (blue) on Majuro The climate has a dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November. Many Pacific typhoons begin as tropical storms in the Marshall Islands
Islands
region, and grow stronger as they move west toward the Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
and the Philippines. Due to its very low elevation, the Marshall Islands
Islands
are threatened by the potential effects of sea level rise.[30][31] According to the president of Nauru, the Marshall Islands
Islands
are the most endangered nation in the world due to flooding from climate change.[32] Population has outstripped the supply of fresh water, usually from rainfall. The northern atolls get 50 inches (1,300 mm) of rainfall annually; the southern atolls about twice that. The threat of drought is commonplace throughout the island chains.[33]

Fauna[edit] Main articles: List of mammals of the Marshall Islands
List of mammals of the Marshall Islands
and List of butterflies of the Marshall Islands Crabs include hermit crabs, and coconut crabs.[34]

Birds[edit] Main article: List of birds of the Marshall Islands Most birds found in the Marshall Islands, with the exception of those few introduced by man, are either sea birds or a migratory species.[35] There are about 70 species of birds, including 31 seabirds. 15 of these species actually nest locally. Sea birds include the black noddy and the white tern.[36] The only land bird is the house sparrow, introduced by man.[34]

Marine[edit] There are about 300 species of fish, 250 of which are reef fish.[36]

Turtles: green turtles, hawksbill, Leatherback sea turtles, and Olive ridley sea turtles.[37] Sharks: There are at least 22 shark species including: Blue shark, Silky shark, Bigeye thresher
Bigeye thresher
shark, Pelagic thresher
Pelagic thresher
shark, Oceanic whitetip shark, and Tawny nurse shark.[38][39] Arthropods[edit] Scorpions: dwarf wood scorpion, and Common house scorpion. Pseudoscorpions are occasionally found.[40] Spiders: Two: a scytodes, Dictis striatipes;[40] and Jaluiticola a genus of jumping spiders endemic to the Marshall Islands. Its only species is Jaluiticola hesslei.[41] Amphipod: One - Talorchestia spinipalma.[40] Orthoptera: cockroaches, American cockroaches, short-horned grasshopper, crickets.[40] Demographics[edit] Main article: Demographics of the Marshall Islands Historical population figures are unknown. In 1862, the population was estimated at about 10,000.[25] In 1960, the entire population was about 15,000. In the 2011 Census, the number of island residents was 53,158. Over two-thirds of the population live in the capital, Majuro
Majuro
and Ebeye, the secondary urban center, located in Kwajalein Atoll. This excludes many who have relocated elsewhere, primarily to the United States. The Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
allows them to freely relocate to the United States
United States
and obtain work there.[42] A large concentration of about 4,300 Marshall Islanders have relocated to Springdale, Arkansas, the largest population concentration of natives outside their island home.[43] Most of the residents are Marshallese, who are of Micronesian origin and migrated from Asia
Asia
several thousand years ago. A minority of Marshallese have some recent Asian ancestry, mainly Japanese. About one-half of the nation's population lives on Majuro, the capital, and Ebeye, a densely populated island.[44][45][46][47] The outer islands are sparsely populated due to lack of employment opportunities and economic development. Life on the outer atolls is generally traditional.[48][49] The official languages of the Marshall Islands
Islands
are English and Marshallese. Both languages are widely spoken.[50]

Religion[edit] Main article: Religion in the Marshall Islands Christians in the Marshall Islands Major religious groups in the Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands
Islands
include the United Church of Christ – Congregational in the Marshall Islands, with 51.5% of the population; the Assemblies of God, 24.2%; the Roman Catholic Church, 8.4%;[51] and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 8.3%.[51] Also represented are Bukot Nan Jesus (also known as Assembly of God Part Two), 2.2%; Baptist, 1.0%; Seventh-day Adventists, 0.9%; Full Gospel, 0.7%; and the Baha'i Faith, 0.6%.[51] Persons without any religious affiliation account for a very small percentage of the population.[51] There is also a small community of Ahmadiyya Muslims based in Majuro, with the first mosque opening in the capital in September 2012.[52]

Health[edit] See Health in the Marshall Islands During the Castle Bravo
Castle Bravo
test of the first deployable thermonuclear bomb, a miscalculation resulted in the explosion being over twice as large as predicted. The nuclear fallout spread eastward onto the inhabited Rongelap and Rongerik Atolls. These islands were not evacuated before the explosion. Many of the Marshall Islands
Islands
natives have since suffered from radiation burns and radioactive dusting, suffering the similar fates as the Japanese fishermen aboard the Daigo Fukuryū Maru, but have received little, if any, compensation from the federal government.[53]

Government[edit] Main article: Politics of the Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands
Islands
Capitol H.E. Hilda C. Heine, first woman and current president of the Marshall Islands, walking through the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Sept. 12, 2017 The government of the Marshall Islands
Islands
operates under a mixed parliamentary-presidential system as set forth in its Constitution.[54] Elections are held every four years in universal suffrage (for all citizens above 18), with each of the twenty-four constituencies (see below) electing one or more representatives (senators) to the lower house of RMI's unicameral legislature, the Nitijela. (Majuro, the capital atoll, elects five senators.) The President, who is head of state as well as head of government, is elected by the 33 senators of the Nitijela. Four of the five Marshallese presidents who have been elected since the Constitution was adopted in 1979 have been traditional paramount chiefs.[55]

President Hilda Heine
Hilda Heine
with Taiwan
Taiwan
President Tsai Ing-wen
Tsai Ing-wen
in October 2017 In January 2016, senator Hilda Heine
Hilda Heine
was elected by Parliament as the first female president of the Marshall Islands; previous president Casten Nemra
Casten Nemra
lost office after serving two weeks in a vote of no confidence.[9] Legislative power lies with the Nitijela. The upper house of Parliament, called the Council of Iroij, is an advisory body comprising twelve tribal chiefs. The executive branch consists of the President and the Presidential Cabinet, which consists of ten ministers appointed by the President with the approval of the Nitijela. The twenty-four electoral districts into which the country is divided correspond to the inhabited islands and atolls. There are currently four political parties in the Marshall Islands: Aelon̄ Kein Ad (AKA), United People's Party (UPP), Kien Eo Am (KEA) and United Democratic Party (UDP). Rule is shared by the AKA and the UDP. The following senators are in the legislative body:

Ailinglaplap Atoll
Atoll
Christopher Loeak
Christopher Loeak
(AKA), Alfred Alfred, Jr. (IND) Ailuk Atoll
Atoll
– Maynard Alfred (UDP) Arno Atoll
Atoll
– Mike Halferty (KEA), Jejwadrik H. Anton (IND) Aur Atoll
Atoll
– Hilda C. Heine (AKA) Ebon Atoll
Ebon Atoll
– John M. Silk (UDP) Enewetak
Enewetak
Atoll
Atoll
– Jack J. Ading (UPP) Jabat Island
Island
– Kessai H. Note (UDP) Jaluit
Jaluit
Atoll
Atoll
Casten Nemra
Casten Nemra
(IND), Daisy Alik Momotaro (IND) Kili Island
Island
– Eldon H. Note (UDP) Kwajalein
Kwajalein
Atoll
Atoll
– Michael Kabua (AKA), David R. Paul (KEA), Alvin T. Jacklick (KEA) Lae Atoll
Atoll
– Thomas Heine (AKA) Lib Island
Island
– Jerakoj Jerry Bejang (AKA) Likiep Atoll
Atoll
– Leander Leander, Jr. (IND) Majuro
Majuro
Atoll
Atoll
– Sherwood M. Tibon (KEA), Anthony Muller (KEA), Brenson S. Wase (UDP), David Kramer (KEA), Kalani Kaneko (KEA) Maloelap Atoll
Atoll
– Bruce Bilimon (IND) Mejit
Mejit
Island
Island
– Dennis Momotaro (AKA) Mili Atoll
Atoll
– Wilbur Heine (AKA) Namdrik Atoll
Atoll
– Wise Zackhras (IND) Namu Atoll
Atoll
– Tony Aiseia (AKA) Rongelap Atoll
Atoll
– Kenneth A. Kedi (IND) Ujae Atoll
Atoll
– Atbi Riklon (IND) Utirik Atoll
Atoll
– Amenta Mathew (KEA) Wotho Atoll
Atoll
– David Kabua (AKA) Wotje Atoll
Atoll
– Litokwa Tomeing (UPP) Foreign affairs and defense[edit] The USCGC Oliver Berry and the RMIS Lomor on a joint patrol[56] Further information: Foreign relations of the Marshall Islands
Foreign relations of the Marshall Islands
and Compact of Free Association The Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
with the United States
United States
gives the U.S. sole responsibility for international defense of the Marshall Islands. It gives islanders the right to emigrate to the United States
United States
and to work there.[57] The Marshall Islands
Islands
was admitted to the United Nations
United Nations
based on the Security Council's recommendation on August 9, 1991, in Resolution 704 and the General Assembly's approval on September 17, 1991, in Resolution 46/3.[58] In international politics within the United Nations, the Marshall Islands
Islands
has often voted consistently with the United States
United States
with respect to General Assembly resolutions.[59] On April 28, 2015, the Iranian navy
Iranian navy
seized the Marshall Island-flagged MV Maersk Tigris near the Strait of Hormuz. The ship had been chartered by Germany's Rickmers Ship Management, which stated that the ship contained no special cargo and no military weapons. The ship was reported to be under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard according to the Pentagon. Tensions escalated in the region due to the intensifying of Saudi-led coalition attacks in Yemen. The Pentagon reported that the destroyer USS Farragut and a maritime reconnaissance aircraft were dispatched upon receiving a distress call from the ship Tigris and it was also reported that all 34 crew members were detained. US defense officials have said that they would review U.S. defense obligations to the Government of the Marshall Islands
Islands
in the wake of recent events and also condemned the shots fired at the bridge as "inappropriate". It was reported in May 2015 that Tehran
Tehran
would release the ship after it paid a penalty.[60][61] In March 2017, at the 34th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, Vanuatu
Vanuatu
made a joint statement on behalf of the Marshall Islands
Islands
and some other Pacific nations raising human rights violations in the Western New Guinea, which has been occupied by Indonesia
Indonesia
since 1963,[62] and requested that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights produce a report.[63][64] Indonesia rejected allegations.[64] More then 100,000 Papuans have died during a 50-year Papua conflict.[65] Since 1991 the Republic
Republic
of Marshall Islands
Islands
Sea Patrol, a division of Marshall Islands
Islands
Police, has operated the 160 ton patrol vessel RMIS Lomor. Lomor is one of 22 Pacific Forum patrol vessels Australia provided to smaller nations in the Pacific Forum. While some other nations' missions for their vessels include sovereignty, protection, the terms of the Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
restrict Lomor to civilian missions, like fishery protection and search and rescue.

Culture[edit] Main article: Culture of the Marshall Islands Marshallese fans Although the ancient skills are now in decline, the Marshallese were once able navigators, using the stars and stick-and-shell charts.

Sports[edit] Main articles: Marshall Islands
Islands
Athletics, Marshall Islands
Islands
at the Olympics, and Category: Sports in the Marshall Islands Football[edit] See also: List of football clubs in the Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands
Islands
have a small club league, including Koober as the most successful club. One tournament was held by Play Soccer Make Peace. There is a small Football Association
Football Association
on the island of Majuro. The sport of football in its growth is new to the Marshall Islands. The Marshall Islands
Islands
does not have a national football team presently. The Marshall Islands
Islands
is the only sovereign country in the world that does not have a record of a national football match.[66]

Marshall Islands
Islands
Baseball
Baseball
/ Softball
Softball
Federation[edit] Softball
Softball
and baseball are held under one sports federation in the Marshall Islands. The President is Jeimata Nokko Kabua. Both sports are growing at a fast pace with hundreds of Marshallese people
Marshallese people
behind the Marshall Islands
Islands
Baseball
Baseball
/ Softball
Softball
Federation. The Marshall Islands
Islands
achieved a silver medal in the Micronesian Games in 2012, as well as medals in the SPG Games.[67]

Economy[edit] Main article: Economy of the Marshall Islands Graphical depiction of Marshall Islands's product exports in 28 colour-coded categories The islands have few natural resources, and their imports far exceed exports. According to the CIA, the value of exports in 2013 was approximately $53.7 million while estimated imports were $133.7 million. Agricultural products include coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits, pigs and chickens. Industry is made of the production of copra and craft items, tuna processing and tourism. The GDP in 2016 was an estimated $180 million, with a real growth rate of 1.7%. The GDP per capita was $3,300.[68] The International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
reported in mid-2016 that the economy of the Republic
Republic
had expanded by about 0.5 percent in the Fiscal Year 2015 thanks to an improved fisheries sector. A surplus of 3% of GDP was recorded "owing to record-high fishing license fees. Growth is expected to rise to about 1.5 percent and inflation to about 0.5 percent in FY2016, as the effects of the drought in earlier 2016 are offset by the resumption of infrastructure projects."[69] In 2018, the Republic
Republic
of Marshall Islands
Islands
passed the Sovereign Currency Act, which made it the first country to issue their own cryptocurrency and certify it as legal tender; the currency is called the "sovereign".[70]

Shipping[edit] The Marshall Islands
Islands
plays a vital role in the international shipping industry as a flag of convenience for commercial vessels.[71] The Marshallese registry began operations in 1990, and is managed through a joint venture with International Registries, Inc., a US-based corporation that has offices in major shipping centers worldwide.[72] As of 2017, the Marshallese ship registry was the second largest in the world, after that of Panama.[73] Unlike some flag countries, there is no requirement that a Marshallese flag vessel be owned by a Marshallese individual or corporation. Following the 2015 seizure of the MV Maersk Tigris, the United States announced that its treaty obligation to defend the Marshall Islands did not extend to foreign-owned Marshallese flag vessels at sea.[74] As a result of ship-to-ship transfers by Marshallese flag tanker vessels, the Marshall Islands
Islands
have statistically been one of the largest importers of crude oil from the United States, despite the fact that the islands have no oil refining capacity.[75]

Labor[edit] In 2007, the Marshall Islands
Islands
joined the International Labour Organization, which means its labor laws will comply with international benchmarks. This may affect business conditions in the islands.[76]

Taxation[edit] The income tax has two brackets, with rates of 8% and 12%.[77] The corporate tax is 3% of revenue.[77]

Foreign assistance[edit] United States
United States
government assistance is the mainstay of the economy. Under terms of the Amended Compact of Free Association, the U.S. is committed to provide US$57.7 million per year in assistance to the Marshall Islands
Islands
(RMI) through 2013, and then US$62.7 million through 2023, at which time a trust fund, made up of U.S. and RMI contributions, will begin perpetual annual payouts.[78] The United States
United States
Army maintains the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein
Kwajalein
Atoll. Marshallese land owners receive rent for the base.

Agriculture[edit] Coconut
Coconut
palms in the Marshall Islands Agricultural production is concentrated on small farms.[79] The most important commercial crop is copra,[80][81] followed by coconut, breadfruit, pandanus, banana, taro and arrowroot. The livestock consists primarily of pigs and chickens.[82][69]

Industry[edit] Small-scale industry is limited to handicrafts, fish processing, and copra.

Fishing[edit] Majuro
Majuro
is the world's busiest tuna transshipment port in the world, with 704 transshipments totaling 444,393 tons in 2015.[83] Majuro
Majuro
is also a tuna processing center; the Pan Pacific Foods plant exports processed tuna to a number of countries, primarily the United States under the Bumble Bee brand.[84] Fishing
Fishing
license fees, primarily for tuna, provide noteworthy income for the government.[69] In 1999, a private company built a tuna loining plant with more than 400 employees, mostly women. But the plant closed in 2005 after a failed attempt to convert it to produce tuna steaks, a process that requires half as many employees. Operating costs exceeded revenue, and the plant's owners tried to partner with the government to prevent closure. But government officials personally interested in an economic stake in the plant refused to help. After the plant closed, it was taken over by the government, which had been the guarantor of a $2 million loan to the business.[citation needed]

Energy[edit] On September 15, 2007, Witon Barry (of the Tobolar Copra
Copra
processing plant in the Marshall Islands
Islands
capital of Majuro) said power authorities, private companies, and entrepreneurs had been experimenting with coconut oil as alternative to diesel fuel for vehicles, power generators, and ships. Coconut
Coconut
trees abound in the Pacific's tropical islands. Copra, the meat of the coconut, yields coconut oil (1 liter for every 6 to 10 coconuts).[85] In 2009, a 57 kW solar power plant was installed, the largest in the Pacific at the time, including New Zealand.[86] It is estimated that 330 kW of solar and 450 kW of wind power would be required to make the College of the Marshall Islands
Islands
energy self-sufficient.[87] Marshalls Energy Company (MEC), a government entity, provides the islands with electricity. In 2008, 420 solar home systems of 200 Wp each were installed on Ailinglaplap Atoll, sufficient for limited electricity use.[88]

Education[edit] The Ministry of Education is the education agency of the islands. Marshall Islands
Islands
Public School System operates the state schools in the Marshall Islands. In the 1994-1995 school year the country had 103 elementary schools and 13 secondary schools. There were 27 private elementary schools and one private high school. Christian groups operated most of the private schools.[89] Historically the Marshallese population was taught in English first with Marshallese instruction coming later, but this was reversed in the 1990s to keep the islands' cultural heritage and so children could write in Marshallese. Now English language
English language
instruction begins in grade 3. Christine McMurray and Roy Smith wrote in Diseases of Globalization: Socioeconomic Transition and Health that this could potentially weaken the children's English skills.[89] There are two tertiary institutions operating in the Marshall Islands, the College of the Marshall Islands[90] and the University of the South Pacific.

Transportation[edit] Main article: Transportation in the Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands
Islands
are served by the Marshall Islands
Islands
International Airport in Majuro, the Bucholz Army Airfield
Bucholz Army Airfield
in Kwajalein, and other small airports and airstrips.[91] Airlines include United Airlines, Nauru
Nauru
Airlines, Air Marshall Islands, and Asia
Asia
Pacific Airlines.[92]

Media and communications[edit] The Marshall Islands
Islands
have several AM and FM radio stations. AM stations are 1098 5 kW V7AB Majuro
Majuro
(Radio Marshalls, national coverage) and 1224 AFN Kwajalein
Kwajalein
(both public radio) as well as 1557 Micronesia
Micronesia
Heatwave. The FM stations are 97.9 V7AD Majuro,[93] V7AA 96.3 FM Uliga[94] and 104.1 V7AA Majuro
Majuro
(Baptist religious). BBC World is broadcast on 98.5 FM Majuro.[95] The most recent station is Power 103.5 which started broadcasting in 2016.[96] AFRTS stations include 99.9 AFN Kwajalein
Kwajalein
(country), 101.1 AFN (adult rock) and 102.1 AFN (hot AC).[97][98] There is one broadcast television station, MBC-TV operated by the state.[99] Cable TV is available. On cable TV, most programs are shown two weeks later than in North America but news in real time can be viewed on CNN, CNBC and BBC.[100] American Forces Radio and Television also provides TV service to Kwajalein Atoll.[101] The Marshall Islands
Islands
National Telecommunications Authority (NTA) provides telephone, cable TV (MHTV), FAX, cellular and Internet services.[102][103] The Authority is a private corporation with significant ownership by the national government.[104]

See also[edit]

Geography portal Oceania
Oceania
portal Outline of the Marshall Islands Index of Marshall Islands-related articles Pacific Proving Grounds List of island countries The Plutonium
Plutonium
Files Visa policy of the Marshall Islands Notes[edit]

^ Pronunciations:* English: Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands /ˈmɑːrʃəl ˈaɪləndz/ (listen)* Marshallese: Aolepān Aorōkin M̧ajeļ ([ɑ͡ɒɔ͡ɛlʲɛbʲænʲ ɑ͡ɒo̯o͡ɤrˠɤɡɯ͡inʲ(e͡ɤ) mˠɑ.zʲɛ͡ʌɫ])

^ Wake Island
Island
is claimed as a territory of the Marshall Islands, but is also claimed as an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, with de facto control vested in the Office of Insular Affairs (and all military defenses managed by the United States military).

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit] Sharp, Andrew (1960). Early Spanish Discoveries in the Pacific. Further reading[edit] Barker, Holly M. (February 1, 2012). Bravo for the Marshallese: Regaining Control in a Post-Nuclear, Post-Colonial World. Cengage Learning. ISBN 9781111833848. Carucci, Laurence Marshall (1997). Nuclear Nativity: Rituals of Renewal and Empowerment in the Marshall Islands. Northern Illinois University Press. ISBN 9780875802176. Hein, J. R., F. L. Wong, and D. L. Mosier (2007). Bathymetry of the Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands
Islands
and Vicinity. Miscellaneous Field Studies; Map-MF-2324. Reston, VA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. Niedenthal, Jack (2001). For the Good of Mankind: A History of the People of Bikini and Their Islands. Bravo Publishers. ISBN 9789829050021. Rudiak-Gould, Peter (2009). Surviving Paradise: One Year on a Disappearing Island. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 9781402766640. Woodard, Colin (2000). Ocean's End: Travels Through Endangered Seas. New York: Basic Books. (Contains extended account of sea-level rise threat and the legacy of U.S. Atomic testing.) External links[edit] Marshall Islandsat's sister projectsDefinitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Travel guide from Wikivoyage Resources from Wikiversity

Government[edit] Embassy of the Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands
Islands
Washington, DC official government site Chief of State and Cabinet Members General information[edit] "Marshall Islands". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Country Profile from New Internationalist Marshall Islands
Islands
from UCB Libraries
UCB Libraries
GovPubs Marshall Islands
Islands
at Curlie Marshall Islands
Islands
from the BBC News Wikimedia Atlas of the Marshall Islands News media[edit] Marshall Islands
Islands
Journal Weekly independent national newspaper[citation needed] Other[edit] Digital Micronesia
Micronesia
– Marshalls by Dirk HR Spennemann, Associate Professor in Cultural Heritage Management Plants & Environments of the Marshall Islands
Islands
Book turned website by Dr. Mark Merlin of the University of Hawaii Atomic Testing Information Pictures of victims of U.S. nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands
Islands
on Nuclear Files.org "Kenner hearing: Marshall Islands-flagged rig in Gulf oil spill was reviewed in February" NOAA's National Weather Service – Marshall Islands Canoes of the Marshall Islands Alele Museum – Museum of the Marshall Islands WUTMI – Women United Together Marshall Islands vteMarshall Islands articlesHistory Spanish East Indies John Marshall German New Guinea South Pacific Mandate Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Pacific Proving Grounds Colonial governors Geography Administrative divisions Climate Islands Seamounts Towns and villages Ratak Chain
Ratak Chain
(Sunrise, Eastern) Bokak (Taongi) Bikar Utirik Toke Mejit Ailuk Jemo Likiep Wotje Erikub Maloelap Aur Majuro Arno Mili Knox (Nadikdik) (Limalok) Ralik Chain
Ralik Chain
(Sunset, Western) Enewetak (Lo-En) (Lomilik) Ujelang Bikini (Wōdejebato) Rongerik Rongelap (Ruwitūntūn) Ailinginae Wotho Ujae Lae Kwajalein (Lemkein) Lib Namu Jabat Ailinglaplap Jaluit Kili Namorik Ebon

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Ralik Chain
(Sunset, Western) Enewetak (Lo-En) (Lomilik) Ujelang Bikini (Wōdejebato) Rongerik Rongelap (Ruwitūntūn) Ailinginae Wotho Ujae Lae Kwajalein (Lemkein) Lib Namu Jabat Ailinglaplap Jaluit Kili Namorik Ebon

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