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Ammassalik

town, southeastern Greenland, on the south coast of Ammassalik Island. The island is 25 miles (40 km) long and 12-20 miles (19-32 km) wide, with a high point of 4,336 feet (1,322 metres). Although Europeans landed as early as 1472, the region was not explored until 1884, when Gustav Holm, a Dane, mapped the coast. A trading and mission station was established in 1895 to help sustain the Greenlandic (Eskimo) population with imported food and firearms for hunting. It was originally named for a type of fish called ammassat in Greenlandic (English: capelin), which spawns in the coastal waters. Today the town is the administrative and educational centre of southeastern Greenland. Fishing is limited, but hunting is a major activity. Tourism is a growing industry. Pop. (2007) 1,895.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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