Protect Marine Life From Seismic Airgun Testing


Target: United States Department of the Interior

Goal: Don’t put marine life at risk from use of seismic airguns for oil exploration.

The United States Department of the Interior is currently considering whether or not they will allow the use of seismic airguns for oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean and we need them to say no. The department is expected to reach a decision by early fall of 2013 which allows us only months to save potentially hundreds of thousands of marine life, 200,000 jobs, and even an endangered species. The impact of seismic airgun testing will be detrimental, not only affecting our endangered marine life, but also affecting the economy of the surrounding areas where testing will take place. It is expected that seismic airgun testing will disrupt commercial fisheries along the coast of 7 states that could cost a loss of $11.8 billion yearly and over 200,000 jobs. It is also the first step leading to offshore drilling, which alone can cause climate change, deadly oil spills, and ocean acidification.

When seismic airgun testing is conducted, airguns are towed on the back of ships and deafening blasts of compressed air are shot at 250 decibels deep into the sea bed to search for oil and gas deposits. While this happens the loudness of the blast, which is almost as loud as an explosion, will scare away marine life and will cause temporary or permanent hearing loss in marine life such as whales and dolphin. For mammals like whales and dolphins, the ability to hear is crucial because they rely on sound to travel, eat, mate and communicate. This will happen every 10 seconds, every hour of the day, for days to weeks uninterrupted along the coast of 7 states.

Even the Department of the Interior has recognized and even possibly underestimated the effect that testing will have on marine animals. It anticipates the injuries of 138, 500 dolphins and whales, expects to cause 13.5 billion interruptions to the vital behaviors of marine mammals, and even injure nine critically endangered North Atlantic Right whales. There is also proof of many more occasions where seismic airgun testing has been conducted and marine life has suffered from it.

By signing your name on the petition below you are helping us keep whales, dolphins, turtles and many more creatures alive by urging the United States Department of the Interior to say no to seismic airgun testing.


Dear United States Department of the Interior,

The allowance of seismic airgun tests for oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean must be denied. The decision to allow this kind of testing in the Atlantic Ocean will be disastrous not only for marine life, but also for the economy of the communities that are within the area. If you say yes there is a likely chance that $11 billion will be lost by commercial fisheries every year, 200,000 jobs will no longer be there, and an endangered species could go extinct.

There is evidence of a negative impact on marine life in many places that airgun testing has been conducted. In 2008, dozens of melon-headed whales washed up and died along beaches in Madagascar. In 2012, around 900 dolphins and black porpoises washed up dead along a beach in Peru with blood coming from their ears and fractures in their ear bones that may have been caused by seismic testing. There are many more cases that are just like these that show exactly how harmful it would be to allow seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.

I am urging you to prevent death, injury and a worsened economy by saying no to seismic airgun testing. Please keep our marine animals alive.


[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Please support this crucial petition! I am a marine biology student studying the (absolutely horrific) effects of intense underwater sound on marine mammals and recently created a similar petition to bring awareness to one of THE GREATEST CURRENT THREATs to marine mammals. please sign farcechanges petition and mine as well!

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