D'Entrecasteaux Channel

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South East Tasmania with D'Entrecasteaux Channel highlighted.

The D'Entrecasteaux Channel /ˌdɒntrəˈkæst/ is a region of water between Bruny Island and the south-east of the mainland of Tasmania. It extends between the estuaries of the Derwent and the Huon Rivers. It was sighted by Abel Tasman in 1642 and surveyed in 1792 by Bruni d'Entrecasteaux.[1]

Towns on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel include Snug, Margate, Kettering, Woodbridge, Flowerpot, Middleton and Gordon.[2]


In 1911, readers from the Mercury newspaper made the following comments about the history of the channel: "This was discovered on April 20. 1792, by the celebrated French "Vice-Admiral Bruny D'Entrecasteaux, who, in the ships Recherche and Esperance, was searching for ill-fated La Perouse. Visiting Van Diemen's Land for the first time, he was attempting to find an anchorage in Adventure Bay, when, being himself ill in bed, the ships' navigators entered the channel to the west of Bruny Island, instead of going to the eastward of it. Thus, the discovery of the great channel was due to an accident. This is Labillardiere's account of the matter. A wrong bearing taken of the Mewstone accounts for the French navigator's error."[3]

Geography and Environment[edit]

The D'Entrecastaux Channel region sheltered by Bruny Island is increasingly affected by foreshore erosion, in some areas sandbagging aims to reduce the effects.[4]

The channel is a breeding ground for scallops.[5] Prior to 1969, fishing dredges were used to collect scallops from the seafloor.[5] Damage caused by the dredging has led to collection by scuba divers.[5]


  1. ^ "D'Entrecasteaux Channel." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved on 15 June 2014
  2. ^ D'Entrecasteaux Channel The Huon Trail. Retrieved on 15 June 2014
  3. ^ http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/10114401
  4. ^ Flora Fox, Flora Fox, News and Information about Southern Tasmania 2011
  5. ^ a b c Walker, Margaret (1991). "What price Tasmanian scallops? A report of morbidity and mortality associated with the scallop diving season in Tasmania 1990.". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal 21 (1). Retrieved 2013-07-16. 

Coordinates: 43°13′S 147°17′E / 43.217°S 147.283°E / -43.217; 147.283