Stretching approximately 150km between the northern most tip of Australia and the south coast of Papua New Guinea, the dazzling turquoise waters of the Torres Strait are dotted with over 100 islands as well as coral cays, exposed sandbanks and reefs. The Strait's overall population of 8000, of which approximately 6000 are Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people, is dispersed throughout 19 small island communities. The communities are all remote, approximately 1000km from the nearest city and each has a population between 80 and 750. The Torres Strait is a major shipping channel for Australia and was named after the Spanish navigator, Luis Vaez de Torres who sailed through the region in 1606. Linking the Coral Sea in the east with Arafura in the west, the Torres Strait is the only part of Australia sharing a border with an international country and therefore the issues of surveillance and defence are a major consideration.