Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Zealand Enviro. Group Calls for Seismic Testing Hold in Wake of Whale Strandings

Put All Seismic Testing on Hold and Launch an Independent Study

by SumOfUs

More than 100 pilot whales have died following a series of tragic mass strandings on New Zealand’s coast.
And for weeks, oil companies have been firing deafening shocks to the seafloor in the same area -- potentially interfering with the whales' ability to navigate.

Tell the New Zealand government to put all seismic testing on hold and launch an independent study.

More than 100 distressed pilot whales have stranded and died on New Zealand's beaches in recent weeks.

And nearby, oil exploration companies have been ceaselessly firing sonic booms to map the seafloor.Local conservationists are calling for urgent research into the impact of the exploration on the whales -- something the government should have done before granting licenses to the oil companies in the first place.

The New Zealand government is sticking by its oily friends for now. But we know the government monitors New Zealand's green image closely, and relies heavily on it for tourism and exports. That’s why an international outcry could tip the government in favor of the whales.

Tell the New Zealand government to halt all seismic testing and launch an independent study on its effects.

Whales and dolphins rely on sound for navigating. But the seismic surveying methods used during oil and gas exploration generate loud sounds which can travel large distances through water.

The New Zealand government has allowed an unprecedented amount of seismic testing for deep sea oil to take place in its waters this year, particularly by Norwegian company Statoil. It has happily granted permits to test in marine mammal reserves -- including off the West Coast of the North Island, inside a sanctuary intended to protect the highly-endangered Maui's dolphin.

Seismic testing is the first step of oil exploration. It is done from a ship firing off repeated sound blasts every few seconds, day and night, and sometimes over weeks or months.

The blasts, created by large underwater air guns, generate a pressure wave that penetrates the seafloor and the reflected sound waves are then recorded by an array of sensors dragged on long cables after the ship. The seismic explosions can be heard over 100kms away.

This must stop. We know we need to leave 80% of known fossil fuels in the ground if we are to prevent dangerous runaway climate change. There is absolutely no justification for exploring for new sources of oil -- especially when they could contribute to putting at risk the health of whales and dolphins who are already struggling to survive in our changing climate.

We only have one planet, so we need to look after it together. That’s why we’re supporting local resistance against corporate destruction from the tar sands of Canada to the shores of New Zealand.

Sign the petition to halt seismic testing for deep sea oil off the New Zealand coast.

Thanks for all you do,

Paul, Angus, Cami, and the team at SumOfUs


More information:

Calls for more seismic testing research after whale strandings, TVNZ, January 24 2015

Did seismic testing for oil contribute to the mass whale stranding on Farewell Spit?, Greenpeace New Zealand, February 14 2015

Terrifying and Destructive to Whales and Dolphins: A Glimpse Into the Reality of Seismic Exploration, Huffington Post, December 11 2013

SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. Please help keep SumOfUs strong by chipping in $3.

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