Kangaroo Island is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Southern Ocean, it is relatively untouched much like the Great Barrier Reef and it is at risk through exploration by Bight Petroleum. Proposed seismic testing threatens up to 76 species of marine animals, including the rare Shepherds Beak Whale, Sea Lions, Dolphins and countless fish species. The deafening sonic blasts from seismic testing will continue for many months, 24 hours a day in one of the most significant areas in Australia for feeding by marine mammals.
Minister Hunt, we the undersigned call on you to uphold the decision of your predecessor to impose a “controlled action” order on Bight Petroleum with respect to proposed underwater seismic testing in areas immediately off the coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The marine areas in question are home to a significant number of protected marine mammals including the rare Shepherds beaked whale, Australian sea lions, and fish stocks of importance to our community, all of which are at risk by the seismic blasting Bight Petroleum proposes. Recent reports conclude that over 70% of the species surveyed in the exploration region, likely to be affected by seismic blasting, would not have been detected by Bight Petroleum’s observational attempts during testing. It is unacceptable that these undetected species of marine mammals and fish would be at risk of injury and death from this proposal.
We call on you to uphold the decision by the former Minister for Environment to impose a “controlled action” on this proposal. The decision had undergone extensive review by the Department for Environment, and was the subject of a previous petition of short duration raising over 22,000 signatures.
Please listen to the community and uphold the right decision