The Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean, which circles the globe without being blocked by land, is home to the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the longest of the world's ocean currents. Also known as the "channel", it connects the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins and exerts a powerful influence over the Earth's climate. The ACC carries 150 times more water around Antarctica than the flow of all the world's rivers combined.
Rock lobsters, St Helens
One of the major factors causing the decline of the giant kelp and other seaweeds in Tasmania is the invasion of sea urchins. Scientists believe that one of the reasons why sea urchins are able to thrive is due to the absence of natural predators. For this reason rock lobsters have been reintroduced into the damaged kelp forests of St Helens.
It is hoped that releasing mature rock lobsters will restore the natural balance as they feast on sea urchins. The project will be tracked and studied and, if successful, the same theory could be applied to other marine habitats around the world.
|Importance:||The reintroduction of rock lobsters could offer a lifeline to Tasmania's declining giant kelp forests.|
|Dive category:||Releasing the rock lobsters was a scientific dive which was the culmination of several years of careful study.|
|Access:||If the project proves successful it may mean that finding giant kelp forests in Tasmania becomes much easier.|
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