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The Central Bass Strait Marine Bioregion*

The Central Bass Strait Marine Bioregion is about 60,000 km2 in size in the central area of Bass Strait.

What characteristics distinguish this bioregion?

  • It's muddy seafloor.
  • The region is relatively shallow, with water depth varying from about 80 m at its centre to 50 m around the edges.
  • Currents are generally slow, but moderately strong at the margins where the islands and promontories form the western and eastern entrances to Bass Strait.

What are some of the significant natural values of the bioregion?

  • The region is relatively featureless.
  • Patches of sponge ‘gardens' are thought to exist in specific areas around the margins.
  • Areas within central Bass Strait are important feeding areas for Australian Fur Seals.

Marine Protected Areas in the Region

There are currently no marine protected areas within this region.

* What is a marine bioregion?
A marine bioregion is a large area of the sea that, through the complex interaction of ocean currents, wave energy, seawater temperature, seafloor geology and geography, displays a distinct grouping or pattern of marine plant and animal communities and species.
For example, the plant and animal species and the habitats that dominate the warm waters of the Twofold bioregion in eastern Victoria are very different to those found in the cold, open waters of the Otway bioregion in the west.
The map on the home page suggests that marine bioregions appear to be divided into distinct areas with clearly defined boundaries, but the boundaries between them are dynamic and not hard lines.
The ocean waters on Australia's continental shelf have been classified into 60 marine bioregions. Victoria's coastal waters span 5 of these regions.