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Ahe Atoll: the atoll of the pearl oysters

Ahe is an atoll in the archipelago of the Tuamotu islands, which measures 23.5 km in length and 12.2 km in width, inside which a 138 km² lagoon is enclosed. The island has a single passage to the ocean located in the north-western part of the atoll. The emerged lands occupy an area of only 12 km². While only five hundred people live on the island.

The Ahe atoll is located over 450 km north-east ofthe island of Tahiti. While the closest island of the Tuamotu archipelago is the Manihi atoll which is located just 14 km to the west. Another atoll, Arutua atoll is located about 80 km north. Ahe is part of the municipality of Manihi atoll. Famous for its cultivations of pearl oysters, the Ahe atoll has an airport and a unique accommodation for tourists, the Cocoperle Lodge.

Most of the inhabitants of the atoll profess the Catholic religion. The only important inhabited center of the island, which has about 200 inhabitants, is the village of Tenukuparu located on the motu of Teararoa in the southwest of the island. The other inhabitants are scattered in small villages in the other motu that make up the atoll.

For lovers of ornithology, it is important to know that on the island there is an endemic population of Ptilope des Tuamotu (Atoll fruit dove / Ptilinopus coralensis) birds that are part of the pigeon family. These birds are in danger of extinction due to the loss of their habitat. They are found today only in some atolls of the Tuamotu archipelago.

Ahe was discovered by Europeans in 1616, when it was spotted by the Dutch expedition led by Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire. In the following centuries the island was rarely visited by Europeans.


The Ahe Atoll airport is located in the northern part of the island and has Air Tahiti flights connecting it to the islands of Tahiti and Manihi.


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