Blasting win for tuna industry
The tuna industry is celebrating a win over planned seismic testing for oil in the Great Australian Bight during the species’ autumn juvenile migration.
Testing company PGS has abandoned plans to test in an area off Kangaroo Island in March and will now move its activities to September next year.
But the decision to focus on September activities has pitted PGS against the environmental lobby because this is when south right whales will be calving in the region.
“There is no safe time to undertake seismic blasting,” Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah HansonYoung said.
Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association chief executive Brian Jeffriess said neither March nor September were ideal but the industry had lobbied against March because of the migration period for juvenile tuna.
He said the PGS plan was close to the centre of the fishery.
“We have made a persuasive, evidence-based case about March testing,” he said.
“September is still a major problem for other species and other activities and this is a very major survey.“
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association spokesman Matthew Doman said seismic testing had been used for decades in Australian waters, with no evidence of harm. Miles Kemp