The East Australian Current (EAC) is an ocean current that moves warm water from the tropical Coral Sea, where it splits from the South Equatorial Current, down the east coast of Australia. The powerful flow of the East Australian Current is like an undersea highway. Many creatures can be found commuting in this current, including the Sea turtle. It is the largest ocean current close to the shores of Australia. It can reach speeds of up to seven knots in some of the shallower waters along the Australian continental shelf, but is generally measured at two to three knots. The EAC results in a current vortex in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. The EAC also acts to transport tropical marine fauna to habitats in sub-tropical regions along the south east Australian coast.
In the 2003 animated Disney Pixar film Finding Nemo, the EAC is portrayed as a superhighway that fish and sea turtles use to travel down the east coast of Australia. The characters Marlin and Dory join a group of sea turtles, including Crush and his son Squirt in using the EAC to help them travel to Sydney Harbour so they can rescue Marlin's son, Nemo. The basic premise of this storyline is correct. Every summer, thousands of fish are swept from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney Harbor and further south.