Due to the current restrictions, this event will be held online as a Zoom webinar. Please register via the new link below.
The East Australian Current – where “Finding Nemo” was half right
By Iain Suthers, Sydney Institute of Marine Science & UNSW
The EAC is a powerful western boundary current draining warm water from the south Coral Sea into the Tasman Sea. It is the western side of the South Pacific Gyre, which is strengthening due to the increasing westerly gales in the Southern Ocean (as predicted back in early 1980s). This talk will begin with a tour of the major contact points at Fraser Island, to Cape Byron, Smoky Cape and to eastern Tasmania. The effects of the EAC are evident in shifting corals and tropical species into NSW, and sea urchins from NSW into Tasmania. At Lakes Entrance (Vic) yields of tailor and eastern king prawn fluctuate with vagaries of the EAC. Yellowtail kingfish and pink snapper are now regularly on the menu in Tasmania, and dolphinfish (mahi mahi) are not far behind. South of Seal Rocks the EAC is a myriad of warm-core and cold-core eddies, each with different biological outcomes we’ve just discovered.
The Eastern Australian Current which can run south at up to 4 knots is an important consideration for cruising and racing yacht skippers and navigators. Its eddies can often be the difference between winning and losing a race or delaying a passage.
Iain has spent most of the past 40 years studying the EAC and its eddies. He particularly focuses on plankton and the early life stages of fish. In recent years his students have studied the fishery and sustainability around the new offshore artificial reefs – which are largely based on plankton delivered by the EAC.
Date: Wednesday 28 July
Venue: Online via Zoom Webinar