Australia - Protect Blue Whales from Big Oil

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Tony Burke, Federal Environment Minister, Australia

The waters around Kangaroo Island form one of only three feeding grounds in Australia for the endangered blue whale. They are also the home of several species of dolphin, other whales and countless fish, including the southern bluefin tuna, already critically endangered.

This area, in fact, is a spot of rich and irreplaceable biodiversity. Unfortunately, it may also be the site of oil and gas reserves, and so the oil industry is circling.

Bight Petroleum Corporation wants to start preliminary oil and gas exploration next year, using seismic surveys. The noise produce from the exploration alone is bad news for ocean wildlife, but things could get a lot worse if fossil fuel reserves are found.

Exploiting gas and oil in the seabed always involves considerable habitat destruction and pollution, and there is the risk of the site being spoilt completely with a spill.

Join environmentalists and fishing communities in calling for a stop to this dangerous plan.

We the undersigned ask that you reject the plans for oil and gas exploration around Kangaroo Island. The exploration itself could seriously damage fish and cetacean populations and, if oil or gas is found, the results could be disastrous.

The fishing industry has already voiced its very valid concerns about the exploration, which could seriously damage the fishing industry not to mention destroying yet more of Australia’s fragile marine ecosystems.

A country that has just declared one of the largest marine reserves in the world should be taking a stronger stance on destructive marine activities in, so far, relatively pristine waters. The oil and gas industry is only ever a very short term one. Leaving aside the intrinsic importance of the species that will be affected and the global damage caused by the burning of fossils fuels, the fishing industry and the ecotourism that comes from a rich diversity of marine life could support Australians indefinitely. Only, however, if the marine environment is protected, not destroyed in the interests of short-term profit.

We ask that you not let the oil and gas industry do as it pleases and put a stop to this dangerous and destructive scheme immediately.

Thank you for your attention.

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