Australia is blessed with some of the most biodiverse seas on earth:
13,750km of mostly pristine coastline snakes through temperate, sub-tropical
and tropical waters, embracing 18 bio-regional zones and including 3424
Australia has nearly 40 percent of the Australian continental coastline,
with nearly 90 percent of the population living on the coastal fringe.
Western Australian waters cover approximately 112,500 square kilometres
of ocean surface, with various stakeholders and resource demands.
are three dominant currents influencing the WA coast:
West Wind Drift - a circumpolar current which flows across the southern
face of the continent from west to east. This carries larval dispersal
Pacific-Indian Current - this flows across the northern face of the continent
from east to west bringing Pacific water, and with it larvae, onto the
North West Shelf
Leeuwin Current: originates from the tropics and is a band of warm, low-salinity
water roughly 50km wide and 200m deep. It flows southward down the central
west coast, from Exmouth to Cape Leeuwin, then eastwards towards the Great
Australian Bight. The strengths of these currents vary during the year
and cause widely differing ocean temperatures.
are two fundamental marine flora and fauna provinces in WA: a tropical
province in the north and a temperate province in the south. However the
geomorphic, climatic and current conditions result in the following biological