|The Great Australian Bight|
Edyvane, K. (2000). The Great Australian Bight, in: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 2. Regional chapters: The Indian Ocean to The Pacific. pp. 673-690
In: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 2. Regional chapters: The Indian Ocean to The Pacific. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-08-043207-7. XXI, 920 pp., more
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|Document type: Review|
The Great Australian Bight is an area of international conservation significance, containing globally significant breeding populations of rare and endangered marine mammals, and also, some of the highest levels of endemism and marine biodiversity in Australia (and the world). Much of this unique biota has resulted from the relatively long period of geological isolation and extensive, arid, east-west extent of the coast and the associated wide open, swell-dominated continental shelf, which is dominated by Holocene bioclastic carbonate sediments, particularly bryozoans. However, the fauna and flora of the inshore and offshore regions of the Bight, particularly the seabirds, fish and invertebrates, remain poorly known. Until recently, existing marine biodiversity research and conservation management efforts in the region have been low, with only 260 hectares of the 18.6 million hectares of the Bight, being formally protected and managed as Marine Protected Areas. Despite the risk of increasing conflicts with marine biodiversity in the region from existing uses, such as commercial fisheries, and also, increasing activity in the region, from marine mammal-based ecotourism and sea-based aquaculture (in W A and SA), regional, multiple-use management arrangements or management plans are generally lacking. The recent establishment of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park (State and Commonwealth waters) represents the first multiple-use management regime and the first formal reservation of the ecosystems and habitats of the Great Australian Bight.