Whales are David to oil and gas Goliaths

The struggle to protect the marine region of North-west Australia is turning out like a kind of twisted David and Goliath battle, where mighty whales are the little guys and humans are the giants.

Oil and gas giant, Woodside, has just released its Browse Basin LNG environmental impact statement for public comment, laying bare the inadequacies of the Australian Government’s Bioregional Planning process for the North-west Marine Region - exactly at the same time as the government is supposedly drafting a map to provide greater protection for the region, Woodside is permitted to plough ahead towards its proposed oil and gas development in areas identified as important for whales and dolphins. 

Of course we’re not daft, we don’t underestimate the power of the oil and gas industry (it’s worth billions after all) but there has to be a balance struck between conservation and human needs. 

However mighty they may appear the world’s oceanic giants, such as blue whales, humpbacks and sperm whales, don’t stand a chance against the noise, pollution and ship strikes that are brought by economic titans such as Woodside.  But as long as people continue demanding that governments and big business take their environmental responsibilities seriously and don’t just tick the boxes then we can make sure these Davids win.

If you can spare just a few seconds, send a submission to the Australian Government and demand greater protection for whales and dolphins in the waters of North-west Australia from the oil and gas Goliaths.


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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation