Ascension Island is a volcanic island located in the South Atlantic Ocean, between the coasts of Africa and Brazil. This tiny territory is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha. Most of its population are employees of firms that run on the island.
The settlement is the station of a Royal Air Force, a European Space Agency rocket tracking base, signals intelligence facility, and the BBC World Service Atlantic Relay Station. Aside from telecommunication and satellite-tracking facilities that are a major driver to the island’s economy, tourism is also an important sector. It possesses volcanic rock settlements, white sandy beaches with crystal clear seawaters that are home to a number of important marine life such as yellowfin tuna, swordfish, blue sharks, bigeye tuna, sailfish, and albacore tuna.
As a sizable portion of the island is covered with dormant volcanic craters, only the Green Mountain is considered arable where fruits and vegetables are grown. Ascension Island’s economy relies heavily on financial aid from the United Kingdom. Its local population’s livelihood comes from fishing, raising livestock, and selling handcrafted products. With only very few jobs available, a quarter of its manpower has relocated to other islands such as the Falkland Islands and the UK.
Ascension Island shares the same official currency with the nearby British territory, Saint Helena. It uses the Saint Helena pound which is subdivided into 100 pence. The Saint Helena pound is at par with and circulates alongside the pound sterling. Banknotes feature Queen Elizabeth II, just like banknotes issued by other British territories. Recent banknotes of Saint Helena and Ascension island feature the monarch and sailing ships on the obverse. Meanwhile, the reverse displays the coat of arms of the East India Company depicting lions, flags, and a shield. It also shows the Saint Helena crest with a sailing ship.