Bass Strait (băs) [key], channel, 80 to 150 mi (129–241 km) wide, between Tasmania and Victoria, SE Australia, connecting the Indian Ocean and Tasman Sea; Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne are on the northwest coast. Bass Strait is an important fishing area. The exploration of the strait by Englishman George Bass in 1798 proved that Tasmania was not a part of the Australian continent.
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