Tabuaeran (təbōˌəĕrˈən) [key], atoll (1990 pop. 1,309), c.15 sq mi (40 sq km), central Pacific, one of the Line Islands and part of the Republic of Kiribati. Visited by the American explorer Edmund Fanning in 1798, it was annexed by Great Britain in 1889 and became a part of the colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in 1916. Formerly called Fanning Island, it was renamed Tabuaeran when it gained independence as part of Kiribati in 1979. Copra is the only export. Residents of overcrowded islands in Kiribati have been resettled on Tabuaeran.