SAFE PASSAGE FOR HUMPBACK WHALES THANKS TO LIVING OCEAN’S GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH
Living Ocean announced today the successful outcome of its campaign to halt seismic testing this September in NSW coastal waters. Testing was scheduled during the peak time of the southern migration of the Humpback whales. This would have caused significant disruption and harm to the whales and their calves.
Perth based Gas company Asset Energy Pty Ltd, had applied to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) to undertake the seismic testing. The area was to cover a total length of 208 kilometres, in waters 40 kilometres south of Newcastle NSW in September this year.
“This testing time and location would have been devastating had it gone ahead as our extensive research shows this is within the peak time (August-December) of the southern migration of the Humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae. The proposed location of the seismic survey is also directly in their path”, Living Ocean President Robbi Newman explained.
Living Ocean has been recording the migratory tracks of Humpback whales passing Sydney since 2003, and its research is licensed by State and Commonwealth agencies including an Ethics Committee. Living Ocean has been collecting its data though a ground-breaking app specifically designed by member Bill Fulton to safeguard the whales’ migratory route against sand mining, fish farms and seismic testing.
“Once we were notified of the seismic testing application, we were able to share our extensive scientific data with NOPSEMA, as well as carry out meaningful discussions with the gas company”, Mr Newman explained.
On completion of its assessment, NOPSEMA decided it was not reasonably satisfied that the environment plan meets the criteria … as set out in regulation 10A of the Environment Regulations” and provided an opportunity for Asset Energy to modify and resubmit.
“This is an enormous plus for the whales and the ocean environment. Asset Energy has taken this all on board and now plans to conduct its testing in the more suitable time frame of January/February 2018, when there are very few whales about,” Newman added.
Living Ocean is an ocean based conservation group on Sydney’s Northern Beaches promoting awareness of human impact on the ocean through research, education, and community action. The group develops and nurtures close and important partnerships with schools, marine scientists, independent corporations and government agencies.
Its whale research program builds on research that has been conducted off Sydney’s coastline by experts over many years and its Centre for Marine Studies enables students and others to become directly involved. Additionally Living Ocean raises funds for other vital ocean conservation groups such as Sea Shepherd.
Living Ocean is undergoing a major refocus this year, launching its website with information on upcoming research programs, how to get involved, donations for a new research vessel and ongoing campaigns.
Visit the Living Ocean team this Avalon Market Day, Sunday 19 November and become a member.
Robbi Newman 61 0410 374 333 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Bill Fulton 61 0419220 141 email@example.com,