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Browse Island

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LocationTimor Sea
Coordinates14°06′32″S 123°32′57″E / 14.10889°S 123.54917°E / -14.10889; 123.54917Coordinates: 14°06′32″S 123°32′57″E / 14.10889°S 123.54917°E / -14.10889; 123.54917

Browse Island is a small, approximately 14-hectare (35-acre), uninhabited island lying in the Timor Sea about 180 kilometres (110 mi) north-west of the Kimberley coast of north-western Australia. It is a Western Australian Nature Reserve that is classed as 'Not Class A'[a] vested with the state Conservation Commission and managed by the Department of Environment and Conservation.[1][2]



The island is an important nesting site for green turtles as well as seabirds. Introduced house mice are present. It is surrounded by extensive coral reefs. The waters around the island are a site of upwelling associated with concentrations of tropical krill, and there have been unconfirmed reports of humpback whales feeding there.[1][2]

Human impact

The island was mined for guano from 1870 to 1890.[3] There are nine historic shipwrecks around the island, including one which is listed on the Register of the National Estate. There is a helipad which is used by the oil and gas industry. The surrounding waters are visited by Indonesian fishers as the island lies in the MOU 74 Box area allowing traditional Indonesian fishing activities within the Australian Fishing Zone.[1][2]

It is rumoured the island was used during World War 2 by the American Navy.[4]

An acetylene powered lighthouse was constructed on the southern end of the island in 1945, it was later converted to solar power in 1985.[3]

The production liquid natural gas platform Ichthys Explorer is located near the island. It is the world's largest semi-submersible platform.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Also listed as 'Class C', an outdated classification.[1]
  1. ^ a b c d Anon (2010). Status Performance Assessment: Biodiversity Conservation of Western Australian Islands. Phase II – Kimberley Islands. Final Report (PDF). Conservation Commission of Western Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Caswell MC3D Marine Seismic Survey Environment Plan: Public Summary" (PDF). National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Browse Island - Admiralty Reference # 1642". Lighthouses of Western Australia. 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. ^ Sheppard, Bob. "The mysterious stone lines and mounds on Browse Island". Wordpress. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
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Browse Island
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