The Falkland Islands are an archipelago of the South Atlantic located 399 km northeast of the eastern end of Tierra del Fuego and 1,216 km from the northern end of the Antarctic Peninsula. They form a British Overseas Territory – though they are claimed by Argentina and were, as a result, the cause of a military confrontation, the war of the Falklands, between the two countries in 1982.
The archipelago is made up of two main islands, West Falkland and Falkland East (which accounts for most of the population and agriculture) separated by a wide channel, the Strait of the Falklands, as well as more than 750 islands and islets. The area of the archipelago is 12,173 sqkm (equivalent to the size of Northern Ireland) for a population of approximately 3,000 inhabitants, of which two thirds reside in the capital, Port Stanley.
Discovered by Amerigo Vespucci at the beginning of the 16th century, the islands were baptized by the English in 1592 the “Southern Davis Islands”. The French Louis-Antoine de Bougainville visited them in turn in 1764, and gave them the name of “Malouines”, after the sailors and fishermen of Saint-Malo, who were the first known permanent settlers of these islands.