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Location of Merig in Banks Islands
Location of Merig in Banks Islands
Merig is located in Vanuatu
Location in Vanuatu
Coordinates: 14°19′S 167°48′E / 14.317°S 167.800°E / -14.317; 167.800Coordinates: 14°19′S 167°48′E / 14.317°S 167.800°E / -14.317; 167.800
Country  Vanuatu
Province Torba Province
Population (2009)
 • Total 12
Time zone VUT (UTC+11)

Merig is a small island located 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Gaua, in the Banks Islands of northern Vanuatu.

The island is about 800 metres (2,600 feet) wide, and has a circumference of 2.2 kilometres (1 mile).


The first recorded sighting of Merig Island by Europeans was by the Spanish expedition of Pedro Fernández de Quirós on 25 April 1606.[1] It was then named Île Sainte Claire.[2]


Merig is only inhabited by one household, consisting of 12 individuals.[3]

They speak Mwerlap,[4] the language of the neighbouring island Merelava.


  1. ^ Sharp, Andrew The discovery of the Pacific Islands Oxford, 1960, p.65.
  2. ^ Sidney Herbert Ray (29 May 2014). A Comparative Study of the Melanesian Island Languages. Cambridge University Press. pp. 427–. ISBN 978-1-107-68202-3. 
  3. ^ "2009 National Census of Population and Housing: Summary Release" (PDF). Vanuatu National Statistics Office. 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ Languages of the Banks & Torres Islands.