Can you imagine an explosion going off in your home every 15 seconds?
Australia’s marine parks are important refuges for a diverse range of marine life and habitats.
But marine parks aren’t safe from seismic testing! As the offshore oil and gas industry continues to explore, our marine life is under threat from seismic blasts.
The Senate recently held an inquiry on the impacts of seismic testing. The report makes it clear that more research is vital, and much stronger regulations are required to protect our fisheries and the marine environment.
Coastal communities, conservation groups, scientists, recreational fishers and commercial fishers are united in their deep concern about the impacts of seismic testing on our marine life and local fisheries.
We must keep seismic blasting away from our marine parks and other important marine areas!
Please sign our petition calling on the Australian government to follow all the recommendations from this report at a minimum, and stop seismic blasting in our precious marine parks.
Dear Minister Pitt (CC Josh Wilson MP and Senator Whish-Wilson),
I am concerned that the very real threats of seismic exploration on our marine life have not been addressed, and this practice is still allowed in marine parks and other areas important for our protected marine life and fisheries.
The Senate Inquiry and its recent report ‘Making waves: the impacts of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment’, have highlighted the considerable concerns raised by many Australians about this practice and the inadequate regulation of its use by the oil and gas industry.
This was Australia’s first inquiry into the impacts of seismic surveying from oil and gas exploration. The committee heard substantial evidence, from a wide cross-section of stakeholders, detailing the risks to our oceans and fisheries from ongoing oil and gas exploration.
Not one witness could dispute the fact that the impacts of seismic testing are still under-researched, but this testing is likely harmful to marine life.
Seismic blasting involves an array of air guns firing every 10 to 15 seconds, for days and weeks on end. The noise generated reaches 250 decibels. In comparison, a rocket launch is a deafening 180 decibels. The sound travels for hundreds to thousands of kilometres. It can kill or badly injure marine animals close by – even scallops and tiny zooplankton more than a kilometre away. It can damage whales’ hearing and keep them away from key feeding and breeding grounds. There is evidence that it impacts current and future catch rates for our commercial fisheries.
While I would have liked to see the Senate report go further by providing stronger recommendations on regulatory processes and oversight by the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, it did deliver some good recommendations for change and reform.
In particular, seismic exploration should not be permitted in, or close to, marine parks. Just this week the Federal government announced 21 new areas for offshore oil and gas exploration, including some within or close to Commonwealth Marine Parks, and close to our iconic Twelve Apostles in Victoria.
The recommendations also highlight the need to fill data gaps with well-designed research programs, and to ensure all marine animals are included in future impact assessments. The oil and gas industry should pay a levy to help fund research as well as compensation for any damage caused by their activities, such as to fishers who find their catches have suddenly declined.
Coastal communities, conservation groups, scientists, recreational fishers and commercial fishers are united in their deep concern about the impacts of seismic testing on our marine life and local fisheries. This was made clear in the Senate Inquiry.
I urge you to adopt the Senate report recommendations, strengthen regulatory processes and oversight, and implement a ban on seismic exploration in marine parks and other areas important for our protected marine life and fisheries.
Your Name, Postcode.