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Biographical entry Tasman, Abel Janszoon (1603? - 1659)

Lutjegast, Netherlands
10 October 1659
Batavia, Indonesia
Explorer and Mariner


Abel Tasman was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant who discovered Tasmania, New Zealand, Tonga Islands and some of the Fiji island group and formed a settlement in the Tonga Islands. Tasman was a mariner with the Dutch East India Company and became captain in 1634. From 1630 to 1639 he went on many voyages including around the seas west of Japan. Then in 1642 he sailed from Batavia (Djakarta, Indonesia) to Mauritius, Van Diemen's land (Tasmania), Staten Land (New Zealand) and back to Batavia via the Friendship Islands (including those islands now known as Tonga and the Solomon Islands) and New Guinea. In 1644 he repeated the journey on orders from the Dutch government, then in 1648 Tasman travelled to the Philippines and Siam. During this trip he was dismissed for misconduct, but was reinstated in 1651. He retired from the company shortly afterwards and set up his own merchants business in Batavia.

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Annette Alafaci