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For the name, see Acklin. For the species of iguana, see Acklins Ground Iguana.
Acklins in Bahamas (zoom).svg
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 22°21′N 74°1′W / 22.350°N 74.017°W / 22.350; -74.017
Archipelago Bahamas
Area 389 km2 (150 sq mi)
Population 560[1] (as of 2010)
Additional information
The islands are located 239 miles Southeast of Nassau

Acklins is an island and district of the Bahamas.

It is one of a group of islands arranged along a large, shallow lagoon called the Bight of Acklins, of which the largest are Crooked Island (76 sq mi) in the north and Acklins (120 sq mi) in the southeast, and the smaller are Long Cay (once known as Fortune Island, 8 sq mi) in the northwest, and Castle Island in the south.

The islands were settled by American Loyalists in the late 1780s who set up cotton cotton plantations employing over 1,000 slaves. After the abolition of slavery in the British Empire these became uneconomical, and the replacement income from sponge diving has now dwindled as well with the rest of the natural sponge industry after the advent of synthetics. The inhabitants now live by fishing and small-scale farming.

Map of the Bahamas

The main town in the group is Colonel Hill on Crooked Island. Albert Town, on Long Cay, now sparsely populated, was once a prosperous little town. It was engaged in the sponge and salt industries and also served as a transfer port for stevedores seeking work on passing ships.

Although Acklins Island has relatively few historical landmarks, there are some noteworthy places. Acklins is home to numerous Lucayan people sites. An ancient Lucayan Indian site, thought to be one of the largest Lucayan Indian settlements in The Bahamas, sits along Pompey Bay Beach, just south of Spring Point. Ten ancient Lucayan sites have been unearthed by National Geographic Society Archeologists in Samana Cay alone, which is northeast of Spring Point in Acklins.

Plana Cays, also northeast of Spring Point, is a protected reserve for endangered great iguanas and the very rare estimated hutias (guinea pig like rodents), the only native mammal of The Bahamas.

Another site of interest is the remote Castle Island Lighthouse at the southernmost point of Acklins Island.

Topographic map of Acklins Island and Crooked Island.

The population of Acklins was 428, and Crooked Island 350, at the 2000 census.

It is believed that the first Post office in the Bahamas was at Pitt's Town on Crooked Island.