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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

History of the Abrolhos

​More than 90 boats have run afoul of the Abrolhos, including shipwrecks like the Batavia in 1629. It’s no wonder some of the islands are considered to be haunted.

The Abrolhos were a danger on the United Dutch East India Company’s shipping route in the 1600s and coastal shipping today still give the islands and reefs a wide berth.

Whaling and guano mining at the Abrolhos in the past has given way to fishing and tourism, but remnants of the Abrolhos’ colourful history still remains. Structures built by the Batavia survivors, early explorers and guano miners can still be seen on the islands today.

Research into historic shipwrecks at the Abrolhos is undertaken by experts from the WA Museum. They have removed and preserved many artefacts from historic shipwrecks at the Abrolhos, including a portion of the Batavia’s hull.  You can see these at the Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle and the Geraldton Museum.

Last modified: 19/02/2013 11:03 AM

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