Talk:Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago

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Dear user: Ratzer

Thank you watching the article of the St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks in the English. The article still in construction according to new scientific (geological) research data and articles. The source of the figures is recently submitted scientific article to the Revista Brasileira de Geomorfologia, written by our research group. The English, Spanish, and Japanese Wikipedia pages will be enriched soon to Portuguese level. In addition, Until the end of 2007, I will to open a geological homepage of the St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks. This page will show all of available scientific articles in geology.

> Please don't get offended that I am writing English here

No problem. I am not a native Brazilian, only a geologist working in Rio de Janeiro State Government. Very few geologists working at the St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks can write English. It is one of our weak points. Amotoki 17:47, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I believe that Peter and Paul Rocks are part o Pernambuco State, and not Rio Grande do Norte. But it should be confirmed.

Another interesting information is that there are 4 full-time researchers living there, part of the Archipelago research programme from the Brazilian Government (Interministerial Comission for Sea Resources - SECIRM). There are some sort of details in English available at and —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:18, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

'Archipelago': really?[edit]

Well, 'official sources' apparently say this is an archipelago. That's stretching it quite a lot. It's a group of rocks. Not islands. Not a lot of islands. Or a lot of rocks. So why did someone decide to change it? Let's here the case! (talk) 20:25, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

First of all, the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago belongs to Brazil and the Brazilian Government officially named it Saint Peter and Paul Archipelago (see references). And yes they can be considered islands or islets (small islands) - (Islet: A "rock", in the sense of a type of islet, is a landform composed of rock, lying offshore, uninhabited, and having at most minimal vegetation). Note that the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago is permanently inhabited (see refs by the Brazilian Navy). Limongi BRAlogo1.png (talk) 13:11, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
this looks to me like a case of public relations by someone. Calling these an 'archipelago', and 'islands' I suggest has a political/PR agenda. Why is there a need to be so keen to change the description in line with the official Brazilian line? I think that, regardless, we're all sure and probably happy that these rocks belong to Brazil. As for 'permanently inhabited', well, yes, a military detachment, but what about 'economic activity'?.....we're talking Law of the Sea and geopolitics here! (talk) 05:04, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

And if we actually look at the Brazilian military website, what do we find? We find the rocks described as 'the archipelago of St Peter and St Paul rocks'.(my translations from the Potruguese). So, er, actually, even the Brazilian military haven't dropped the word 'rocks' it seems! See (talk) 05:18, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion; when reliable sources, as well as government sources, uses the term "Archipelago" to name this group of islands or islets, we should use the same term. The reference displayed above seems to be the only one that still use the term "rocks", while most of the current government sources use "Archipelago". Regards; Felipe Menegaz 02:56, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I have to say, this has the air of a geopolitical manoeuvre. Brazil wants to strengthen her claim to these rocks, even though it seems to be internationally accepted. Let's turn to the 'permanently populated' question. Is it *really* the case that these rocks have a military detachment living on them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Why? (talk) 06:07, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
In a way it is a geopolitical maneuver. The same can be said about Rockall (UK) which is 20 times smaller than the Saint Peter and Saint Paul archipelago, and considered "the most isolated small rock in the oceans of the world". The ownership of Rockall is disputed as are the exploration and fishing rights on the Rockall Bank. Exchanges continue between the countries involved (the United Kingdom, Denmark (for the Faroe Islands), Ireland and Iceland). Why the interest in Rockall? Because it extends the United Kingdom's EEZ.
In the case of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Brazil had two choices:
  • 1. By keeping the islands uninhabited it only extended the country's EEZ;
  • 2. By permanently occupying the islands, it became part of the national territory (like Hawaii is to the US, for example), extending not only the country's EEZ, but also its territorial waters and airspace.
So yes, it is a geopolitical move. But according to international law (UNCLS) it is perfectly legal. The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf of the United Nations accepted Brazil's claim in 2004 ([1]). Limongi (talk) 14:05, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
There is no "military detachment" on the islands/islets/rocks/whatever, although the Brazilian Navy patrols the area with its ships, supplies the research station and maintains the automated lighthouse. The research station only has civilian scientists from Brazilian universities and research institutes. As for being "islands," "islets" or "rocks," that is a matter of definition, but in current Portuguese usage the term ilha ("island") has a somewhat looser meaning than in English, and islets, skerries, rocks and the like tend to be considered just special cases of islands. So, since there is more than one "island" there, it does sound appropriate to a Brazilian. Not that the Brazilian government wouldn't have tried to make its case anyway, of course. It is indeed a geopolitical issue above anything, it does serve a national strategic geopolitical agenda, and Limongi's explanation was perfect.
Moreover, I agree with Felipe Menegaz that if a name is both official and in broad usage, it should be used. Even if it is inappropriate, it is not alone in that. The Isle of Ely in England has not been an island for over 300 years (although of course located in the island of Great Britain), since the former swamps around it were drained (and it is arguable whether swamps count to make a piece of firm land an "island"). Yet the Isle of Ely was even a county with that name until the mid-20th century. In San Diego, people often talk about "Coronado Island" even though it is actually a sand spit linked to the mainland, and there is also "Harbor Island" which is linked to the mainland as well. In the Brazilian coastal city of São Vicente, there is an elegant neighbourhood called Ilha Porchat (Porchat Island) that is on a small rocky promontory also linked to the city by a short sand spit (although the city itself is on a larger island). Examples of far less insular places called "islands" abound. So, if they want to call a place with several spots of firm land in the middle of the Atlantic an "archipelago," let them have their way...
As for being "permanently inhabited," this is again a matter of definition, but I would agree that it is not so in the sense we usually understand that. The scientists are replaced every few months, nobody lives there for any extended period or has a personal home there, and they are totally dependent on supplies and support from the Brazilian Navy. Yet there is always someone there, so in a sense the islands can support permanent inhabitation, albeit with a lot of outside support. It seems that legally that is what counts - and what interests the Brazilian government, as well as fishermen and fishing companies, other countries' Navies and all those who might be concerned.
--UrsoBR (talk) 06:01, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

The article does currently state that the researchers are 'military'. In the light of the comments here, especially those by Felipe Menegaz/Limongi who is very qualified to know (see his page), I think there should be a reflection in the article text of the geopolitical thinking behind the attempt to permanently inhabit the rocks, the renaming, the implications for the EEZ etc for Brazil. Yes, the British did something similar with Rockall, but even the SAS bloke couldn't last so long strung out on the rock (now that IS a rock!), perhaps Brazilian researchers, military or otherwise, are made of sterner stuff or that part of the Atlantic is less for the use of terms like 'island', I think the arguments about the Isle of Ely and so on aren't relevant here. The reason Brazil has 'tweaked' the name of these rocks is to beef up the claim potential that they are permanently inhabited: 'rocks' don't sound very inhabitable, whereas an 'island' and 'archipelago' does. By the way, Portuguese has a perfectly respectable word for 'islet' in 'ilhéu', but we can argue about the semantic field between 'ilha' and 'ilhéu' I suppose for quite a while.

Realpolitik, if you like to call it that, means that states will do interesting things to secure EEZ. See what the Japanese have done to Okinotorishima, for example. They've built artifical structures on what is almost completely a submerged reef apart from a few rocks. The manoeuvrings of states in such ways understandable and real world: but the article should have some comment on these motivations in the case of St. Peter and St. Paul Ilhéus. (talk) 11:48, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Regarding the recent edits made by User:, User: and User: on July 24, 2009, they appear to have been made by the same person (see the article's revision history and the WHOIS of the IP addresses) indicating sock puppetry. The edits were clearly unconstructive, removing referenced material (multiple credible sources) and adding OR.

With that said, let me point out again what the references state:

  • From the official Brazilian Government site responsible for the program:
"A Estação é ocupada permanentemente por 3 ou 4 pesquisadores que são substituídos a cada 15 dias."
(English: "The Station is occupied permanently by 3 or 4 researchers who are substituted every 15 days.")
"A Estação é ocupada permanentemente por uma equipe de três a quatro pesquisadores, que são apoiados por embarcações contratadas pela Marinha do Brasil."
(English: "The Station is occupied permanently by a group of three or four researchers, with the support of the Brazilian Navy.")
"Com a inauguração da Estação Científica do Arquipélago de São Pedro e São Paulo (ECASPSP) em 1998, iniciam-se os trabalhos de pesquisa científica promovidos pelo Programa Arquipélago de São Pedro e São Paulo (PRO-ARQUIPÉLAGO). Este fato permitiu tanto a ocupação permanente do arquipélago, como permitiu ainda que o Brasil acrescentasse mais 200 milhas marítimas de zona econômica exclusiva à volta do arquipélago"
(English: With the inauguration of the Scientific Station of the Archipelago of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (ECASPSP) in 1998, scientific research began through the Archipelago of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Program (PRO-ARQUIPÉLAGO). This permitted the permanent occupation of the archipelago, and for Brazil to add 200 nautical miles to its exclusive economic zone around the archipelago")

Regarding the reasoning behind permanently occupying the archipelago, like I (and other editors) have stated earlier, geopolitics is one of the reasons, and the article mentions it: By maintaining permanent occupation of the archipelago, the Brazilian Navy extends Brazil's Exclusive Economic Zone, territorial waters and airspace into the North Atlantic Ocean.. Another reason is to advance scientific research in marine biology for example, after all it is a scientific base (if it was purely geopolitical the Brazilian Navy would have created a military base on the archipelago, like it did on Trindade and Martim Vaz).

One of the edit summaries read: "no evidence that the occupation is 100% continous, (consider the weather conditions!)". If you don't want to believe the sources, it is your own personal opinion and point of view. Until you find reliable sources that state the opposite, the referenced material will stay. Limongi (talk) 03:43, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Who says the sources are unbiased? This is in Brazil's interests, and anyone with Brazilian connections may not necessarily be completely impartial. We need an impartial view on this. (talk) 17:43, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, they are official sources. Find other sources stating your POV and prove they are biased. Limongi (talk) 13:29, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Belonging to Brazil[edit]

The first line or two of the article ought to directly state the ownership of these islets & rocks. It would make the rest of the opening paragraph clearer. -- (talk) 02:23, 1 August 2009 (UTC)


Lovely though this all is, these are actually ROCKS, *not* an archipelago. It would only be in the interest of Brazil to suggest it;s an archipelago and so imply it's more than it actually is. IE, a group of rocks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


"The islets expose serpentinized abyssal mantle peridotite and kaersutite-bearing ultramafic mylonite on the top of the second-largest megamullion in the world…" This is the densest thing I have ever read on Wikipedia and perhaps should be re-written. —Sesel (talk) 22:44, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

The specific references to what kinds of rock the islets consist of should be left in, but something needs to be added to make it more accessible. The gist is - and I think Rachel Carson once popinted it out - that it's one of very few locations on the surface of the earth where rock that's been formed directly in the mantle - not in the crust, or in sediment layers - is directly exposed and forms the main bedrock of the place. So, at some point the rock has been thrust up right from the mantle. This is extremely rare. (talk) 03:20, 24 May 2012 (UTC)