Seismic blasting threatens one of South Australia’s natural treasures

Press release - 15 March, 2018
March 16, 2018: New plans to conduct seismic testing within 90 kilometres of South Australia’s world-renowned Kangaroo Island is madness and endangers this unique marine environments.

Media reports yesterday revealed that two Norwegian companies have lodged applications to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) to conduct seismic testing 51 kilometres from land on Eyre Peninsula, 90 kilometers west of Kangaroo Island and 80 kilometres south-southwest of Port Lincoln [1].

“Seismic testing is a process used in the search for oil and natural gas where underwater explosions are used to create intensely loud sound waves which can be damaging or lethal to marine life nearby,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Simon Black said.

“These blasts can cause temporary and permanent damage to dolphins and whales, even at a distance. They can also have impacts on the behaviour of certain animals, causing them to move away from important feeding or breeding grounds during critical periods [2].

“Seismic has been linked to mass strandings such as 900 whales beaching themselves in Peru, hundreds of whales in New Zealand, and giant squid in Spain. [3]”

Black said seismic testing posed a threat to the fishing and tourism industries that had made Kangaroo Island a popular travel destination the world over.

“Kangaroo Island is famous the world over for its fish, sea lions, and whales,” Black said.

“Allowing seismic blasting at 260 decibels every 10 seconds right in the middle of essential habitats and migration routes is madness.

“NOPSEMA must listen to the people of the Great Australian Bight and reject this insane proposal immediately.”

Notes for editors:

[1] http://bit.ly/2It0zOv

[2] http://bit.ly/2pjUXgm

[3] https://www.livescience.com/20247-dolphin-pelican-deaths-peru.html

For interviews contact:

Simon Black

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

0418 219 086 /

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