Greens Healthy Oceans spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says damning new research into the harmful impacts of seismic testing will be raised by a Senate inquiry next week.
The ABC reports that research conducted by Fishwell Consulting found catch rates for whiting were down by 99.5 per cent at Lakes Entrance where French company, CGG, are conducting a seismic survey for oil and gas.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Scientific research has shown that seismic testing can injure and kill crustaceans, shellfish and plankton with the impact on other marine life such as dolphins and whales still unknown.
“This new research shows that seismic testing has an impact on fish stocks also - and this isn’t just happening in Lakes Entrance.
“This trillion-dollar industry has hardly done any research - with studies like this one, you can understand why.
“With more research in this area, the more we have to be concerned about.
“Seismic testing poses an unacceptable risk to the health of our oceans.
“There is absolutely no excuse for the Government to continue handing out permits for seismic testing until more is known.
“I look forward to examining this new research and its implications in detail next week at the public hearing.”
Last year, the Senate supported a Greens motion to establish an inquiry into the impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment (https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/SeismicTesting). Senator Whish-Wilson is chair of the inquiry, and the committee will be taking evidence next week from witnesses specifically in relation to the CGG seismic survey and the impacts the survey has had in that area.
Terms of Reference:
The impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment, with particular reference to:
1. the body of science and research into the use of seismic testing;
2. the regulation of seismic testing in both Commonwealth and state waters;
3. the approach taken to seismic testing internationally; and
4. any other related matters.