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Impact of seismic testing on rock lobsters is yet another reason to stop oil and gas exploration

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 25 Jul 2019

Tasmanian Greens Senator and Greens’ Healthy Oceans spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, responded to the release today of the findings of a study by IMAS scientists on the impact of seismic testing on rock lobsters.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “This new research provides solid evidence of the harm seismic testing is likely to be causing to an important Tasmanian industry.

“The study found that seismic air guns damage rock lobsters’ ‘inner ear’, and that this damage is most likely permanent.

“This damage limits the ability of rock lobsters to flip the right way up which leaves them exposed to predators.

“The report justifies the concerns that fishers and the broader Tasmanian community have had for some time about the impact of seismic testing.

“The report again highlights the madness of releasing new acreage for oil and gas exploration off the cost of King Island, a prime spot for rock lobsters.

“Seismic testing off King Island should be stopped.

“On the back of this report, I have also submitted a motion to the senate to establish an inquiry into the impacts on seismic testing on fisheries and the broader marine environment.

“Previously, Labor and the government have opposed such an inquiry.

“I implore Labor and the government to reassess their position and to give the Senate the chance to understand the impact that oil and gas exploration is having on other industries in Tasmania and elsewhere around the country.”

Media contact:
Fraser Brindley
02 6277 3727

Seismic air guns damage rock lobster mechanosensory organs and impair righting reflex
Ryan D. Day, Robert D. McCauley, Quinn P. Fitzgibbon, Klaas Hartmann and Jayson M. Semmens

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