Yet the Trump administration has given the greenlight for this dangerous technique to be used in the Atlantic—all so the fossil fuel industry can look for oil and gas beneath the ocean.
In a seismic survey, large arrays of airguns blast compressed air into the deep ocean. These sound bombs, which continue for days, sometimes weeks, can be heard thousands of miles away.
For whales and other marine mammals, life is a symphony of sound. They use sound to find food and mates and generally navigate the vast ocean. To them, a seismic blast is like a bomb repeatedly going off in their home every 10 seconds—a home they can’t flee. Even the government’s own analysis concluded that the oil and gas industry would harm marine mammals more than 13 million times over the next seven years if seismic blasting is allowed in the Atlantic.
For fish, seismic can be deadly, resulting in deafness, while shellfish like lobsters and scallops could see their immune systems being suppressed. And these blasts have been shown to cause massive mortality in zooplankton, the tiny organisms that form the base of all marine food chains.
NRDC has been fighting for years to curb this dangerous fossil fuel survey method, especially in areas where endangered species, such as the North Atlantic right whale, are at risk. And we are fighting back against the oil and gas industry and its allies in Congress who are trying to steamroll opposition by gutting our country’s marine mammal protection law.
It’s time to silence seismic.