The International Fund for Animal Welfare has launched a campaign to protect the endangered Blue Whale. Blue Whales are under threat from offshore gas and oil exploration. According to the report, Blue Whales are disturbed through the disruptions caused by seismic exploration, as the species depends on sound for both communication and food location.
The group is lobbying for a safe habitat for the whales which will also include a non-commercial shipping area. The noise created by large ocean vessels is easily transferred through the sea and causes detrimental long term effects upon the already endangered whales.
340,000 blue whales were killed in the last century. Today the few thousand that remain around Australia face a new threat – the expansion of the offshore oil and gas industry. IFAW is determined to secure critical blue whale habitat from harmful industry and increased shipping.
The blue whale (scientific name Balaenoptera musculus) is the world’s largest animal, almost as big as a Boeing 737 and even larger than the biggest dinosaurs.
In Australian waters there are two subspecies of blue whales: the Antarctic or southern blue whale (sometimes known as the ‘true’ blue whale) and the pygmy blue whale.
Offshore oil and gas exploration
Every year the government announces new areas to be opened up for oil and gas exploration. The continued expansion of the industry into critical whale habitats is going unquestioned both publicly and within government. The cumulative effect of successive seismic surveys and increased shipping traffic in critical whale and dolphin habitat is not being taken into account and risks forcing endangered whales to avoid these areas or face potentially permanent damage to hearing which they rely on for finding food, mates and avoiding prey.
Read more: IFAW.org