SAVE SOUTHERN SEA COUNTRY
Our goal is to stop one of the world’s largest offshore drilling projects. Stopping a destructive practice before it starts.
Surfrider and our partners are fighting to protect Australia’s southern seas from the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry.
Southern Sea Country covers the ocean from North Tasmania to all the way to South Australia. It includes iconic spots like King Island, the Great Ocean Road, and the Great Australian Bight and encompasses Ngarrindjeri, Buandig, Gunditjmara, Keerray Wooroong, Gadubanud, Waddawurrung and Peerapper Country.
These epic locations play host to Australia’s most iconic surf breaks, from the roaring slabs of Tassie to Bells Beach. Within these oceans live abundant and thriving marine ecosystems, including the Great Southern Reef and the nutrient rich Bonney Upwelling that sustains vital commercial fishing industries.
The idea that these pristine coastlines might soon be crowded with fossil fuel rigs drilling for polluting oil & gas seems too far fetched to be true, but right now huge multinational companies are lining up to blast and drill these waters with no consideration of the impacts for those who call this coastline home.
WHAT DO WE HAVE TO LOSE?
These wild southern coastlines are home to some of the cleanest and most pristine waters in the world. These coastlines host some of the most abundant and diverse marine life in the world, and local communities rely on these waters for fishing, surfing, diving, employment and way of life.
The communities who live here have everything to lose, and nothing to gain from these toxic fossil fuel projects except polluted waters and a burnt planet. For everyone else – we all lose when new fossil fuel projects go ahead, because they further fuel the climate crisis that is already pushing our oceans over the edge.
Unfortunately the fossil fuel industry is heavily targeting Australia’s south-eastern waters. Southern Ocean. This includes the Otway Basin, Sorrel Basin and parts of the Bass Basin, which means that unique and world renowned areas, including the 12 Apostles, King Island and the Great Ocean Road are all under threat. And there’s an even bigger risk on the horizon…
Right now, Southern Sea Country is threatened by a plan by global corporation TGS to seismic blast the ocean from Tasmania all the way to South Australia. The proposed area is a whopping 5.5 million hectares, and potentially one of the largest gas & oil seismic test areas in history.
Drilling for polluting oil & gas in our wild southern oceans is a disaster just waiting to happen. Some of the expected risks of drilling in such a wild and pristine area include –
- Death or injury of vital marine species caused by seismic blasting – the process of testing for oil & gas by blasting crushingly loud sound into the ocean every few minutes for months at a time.
- Offshore gas rigs and heaving 20 foot monster swells charging in from the south west are a dangerous combination, bringing with them the potential of an oil spill that could devastate the local economy and marine life.
- Toxic methane from gas flares impacting air quality in neighboring communities, affecting tourism, food production and marine species.
- Blasting and drilling for polluting fossil fuels is against the wishes of Traditional Owners who risk losing their song line with Southern Right Whales, and their connection to Southern Sea Country.
- The mass of toxic greenhouse gasses that will be emitted from these projects over their lifetime, (when the fossil fuels are sent overseas to be burned) threaten our oceans all over the world. New fossil fuel projects are projected to push the planet well over the limit of what it can handle, and projects like these will only speed up the climate crisis.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
As surfers, we know that the whole ocean is our shared backyard and it’s up to us to act as custodians of the places that need our protection. Southern Sea Country is too wild to drill, and it deserves to be protected.
Surfrider and our partners are fighting to protect Southern Sea Country, and we stand in opposition to the expansion of polluting fossil fuel projects on Sea Country.
We call for permanent protection of Southern Sea Country from the threat of fossil fuels and join the call for an immediate end of all gas exploration activities and an end to any expansion of gas development or extraction activities in Southern Sea Country.
TAKE ACTION – THE OCEAN NEEDS YOU!
Just like we fought to stop drilling in the Great Australian Bight, and PEP11, we are taking up the fight to Save Southern Sea Country – but we can’t do it without you. Join us and take action today –
Do you live in the area covered by Southern Sea Country?
You are a powerful person! We’d love it if you could send an email or call your local Council or State MP, calling on them to put a stop to the TGS proposal and further fossil fuel expansion in Southern Sea Country.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN?
Follow these organizations on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest:
SURFRIDER FOUNDATION AUSTRALIA
SURFERS FOR CLIMATE
THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY