Building a bigger picture of the Great Australian Bight

Background

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The Great Australian Bight is a well-known home to great white sharks and iconic marine mammals such as whales, seals and dolphins.

From the very big to the very small, over 85 per cent of known species found in the Great Australian Bight can be found nowhere else in the world.

South Australia’s rugged Great Australian Bight coastline (Image: Sean Connell)

South Australia’s rugged Great Australian Bight coastline (Image: Sean Connell)

The Bight also supports Australia’s largest commercial fishery and is itself a significant tourist destination linked to the internationally acknowledged southern right whale observing industry located at the Head of the Bight.

However little is really known about how this vast body of water supports such diverse marine life and how currents and nutrient flows sustain and drive the dynamic ocean system.

Relatively little physical, chemical and biological data have been collected in the region, especially from the deep water ecosystems of the central Bight.