Are we Australians about to throw away a gift before unwrapping it?
Today we released a special report on Australia’s Last Great Whale Haven – the North West Marine Region. The report, written and reviewed by some of Australia’s leading marine scientists, reveals the incredible diversity of whales and dolphins in the region.
With the rapid expansion of the oil and gas industry in the region bringing huge threats to whales and dolphins and their habitats, this report underscores the need for more protected areas and further research about the animals that live there.
Some 32 different species of whales and dolphins live in or migrate through the area, including the recently discovered Australian snubfin dolphin and the world’s largest, yet still recovering, population of humpback whales. We still know very little about these amazing animals and so much of this area is poorly protected.
All indications are that this is an incredibly special region and to jeopardise the area before we fully understand it is like throwing away a gift before unwrapping it.
The oil and gas industry is rapidly marching through the region bringing significant threats to whales and dolphins, including endangered species. It is noisy, toxic, and dangerous and when something goes wrong it can be catastrophic, as shown by the Montara oil spill.
What we are asking for is greater protection and more transparent research – let’s find out more about what lives there and how best to protect it before the oil industry is allowed in boots and all.