Peaceful Protesters and Dolphins Stop Seismic Survey Ship from Blasting Tasmanian Waters

Community groups Grassroots Action Network Tasmania (GRANT) and Otway Climate Emergency Action Network (OCEAN) have stopped a seismic testing vessel leaving Geelong Port by attaching themselves to the vessel and paddling out around it with dolphins.

It is the third day the community groups have protested US oil giant ConocoPhillips commencing seismic testing in Tasmanian waters, 27km off King Island. Part of the seismic lease is over a radioactive waste site.

GRANT and OCEAN said ConocoPhillips was granted approval by government regulator NOPSEMA despite growing concerns from beach goers, surfers, fishers, and community members about the degradation of local ocean ecosystems.

GRANT member and Marine science student Ally King said she was highly concerned about the wide range of impacts from this survey.

“It seems barbaric that we are letting an international company blast our oceans for a profit when we don’t even fully understand what it could do to our ecosystem.

“Zooplankton help underpin the entire oceanic food web, ConocoPhillips Environmental plan does not appear to address this or even attempt to calculate the potential loss in overall production, should there be zooplankton mortality during their survey.

“The flow-on effects to our valuable fisheries have also been neglected.”

Last year NOPSEMA approved blasting directly over chemical waste and Conocophillips imminent seismic testing area has chemical waste buried nearby. Lisa Deppeler from OCEAN who said “I have no idea of the impacts of seismic blasting over chemical waste, I don’t believe impacts have even been investigated. The west coast of king island has some of the steepest underwater canyons, I’m rather concerned that the 257 decibel blast could dislodge some of this waste, causing it to roll and break.

Chemical mutation ammunition spills could have devastating impacts on our marine environment and Tassies pristine clean green image”