D'Entrecasteaux Channel

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D'Entrecasteaux Channel
D'Entrecasteaux Channel is located in Tasmania
D'Entrecasteaux Channel
D'Entrecasteaux Channel
Location in Tasmania
South East Tasmania with D'Entrecasteaux Channel highlighted.
LocationSouth East Tasmania
Coordinates43°13′S 147°17′E / 43.217°S 147.283°E / -43.217; 147.283Coordinates: 43°13′S 147°17′E / 43.217°S 147.283°E / -43.217; 147.283
EtymologyVice-Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux[1]
River sourcesDerwent River; Huon River
Primary outflowsTasman Sea
Ocean/sea sourcesSouth Pacific Ocean
Basin countriesAustralia
SettlementsSnug, Margate, Kettering, Woodbridge, Flowerpot, Middleton, Gordon

The D'Entrecasteaux Channel /ˌdɒntrəˈkæst/ is a body of water located between Bruny Island and the south-east of the mainland of Tasmania, Australia. The channel is the mouth for the estuaries of the Derwent and the Huon Rivers and empties into the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean. It was sighted by Abel Tasman in 1642 and surveyed in 1792 by Bruni d'Entrecasteaux.[3]

Towns on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel include Snug, Margate, Kettering, Woodbridge, Flowerpot, Middleton and Gordon.[4]


The area has always been of great significance to the Nuenonne band of the South East tribe of Tasmanian Indigenous peoples. According to The Mercury newspaper, the channel "..... was discovered on April 20, 1792, by the celebrated French "Vice-Admiral Bruni 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."[1]

Whaling stations operated on the shores of the channel in the first half of the 19th century.[5]

Geography and environment[edit]

The D'Entrecasteaux Channel region sheltered by Bruny Island is increasingly affected by foreshore erosion, in some areas sandbagging aims to reduce the effects.[6]

The channel is a breeding ground for scallops.[7] Prior to 1969, fishing dredges were used to collect scallops from the seafloor.[7] Damage caused by the dredging has led to collection by scuba divers.[7]

The D'Entrecasteaux Channel has become a popular location for keen photographers to capture images of the aurora australis with its numerous southern-facing water views and beaches, although light pollution from the numerous salmon farms is now starting to impact on this visual beauty from many locations.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nomen, ed. (16 September 1911). "Tasmanian Nomenclature. The Place-Names of the State. A Record of Origins and Dates. No. X". The Mercury. p. 10 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "Map of D'Entrecasteaux Channel, TAS". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  3. ^ "D'Entrecasteaux Channel." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved on 15 June 2014
  4. ^ D'Entrecasteaux Channel Archived 15 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine The Huon Trail. Retrieved on 15 June 2014
  5. ^ Michael Nash, The Bay whalers; Tasmania's shore-based whaling industry, Naverine, Canberra, 2003, pp.139-41,
  6. ^ Flora Fox, Flora Fox, News and Information about Southern Tasmania Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine 2011
  7. ^ 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). Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

External links[edit]