The World’s Best Kept Secret

In 2016, Sea Shepherd Australia joined the Great Australian Bight Alliance to stop big oil companies, like BP, from drilling for oil in one the most pristine marine environments on earth: the Great Australian Bight.

In 2010, BP was responsible for the world’s worst oil disaster, when their oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon, spilled over 800 million litres of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for over 87 days, killing 11 people, and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, sea birds, fish, whales and dolphins, damaged sheries and the marine environment.

Less than 6 months after the spill, BP was granted leases by the Australian Government to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight in waters much deeper, more remote, and rougher than in the Gulf of Mexico.

In August 2016, Sea Shepherd took the M/V Steve Irwin to highlight the prestine environment and ecological value of the Bight, taking the issue from a local issue to a national and a global issue.

After intense lobbying from Sea Shepherd, councils, the community and the Alliance, BP, and later Chevron, decided not to drill for oil in the Bight! The fght is far from over with other oil companies such as Statoil from Norway who are planning to do the same. It is up to us to keep up the fght to save the Bight!

Statoil & Santos

Statoil are actively looking to drill for oil in two locations in the Bight before their three-year exploration permits end in 2020. Santos are also currently conducting seismic testing for suitable drilling wells in the Bight.

We’re back to shine another spotlight on the Bight so that we can continue to protect one of the world’s most important ecosystems.  

The Bight - Home to Unique Marine Wildlife

The Great Australia Bight is home to one of the world’s most unique ecosystems and is one of the most unspoilt marine environments in the world.

Great white sharks, Humpback, Sperm and Blue whales, sea lions, the white-bellied sea eagle, and the albatross all live in the Bight. In fact, more than 85 per cent of the species in the Bight can’t be found anywhere else in the world! It’s also home to the world’s most significant Southern Right whale nursery.

A Risky Business

BP’s own spill modelling shows that an oil spill could devastate Southern Australia’s entire coastline from Western Australia right across to Victoria, the Bass Straight, Tasmania and even New South Wales. This could devestate South Australia’s $442 million fishing industry and coastal tourism industry worth over $1 billion annually, supplying over 10,000 jobs. 

Oil sea spill

All stages of the oil development cycle – exploration, development, production and abandonment – pose unavoidable impacts. Chemical pollution, discharging of drilling fluuids, accidental discharges of oil, and
increased ship strikes to whales and dolphins are all very real dangers.

Read our latest Operation Jeedara brochure to find what you can do to help save the Bight:

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Operation Jeedara
Great Australian Bight Alliance