Sea Shepherd’s SS Steve Irwin to fight for Bight

WE HAVE become accustomed to hearing about Sea Shepherd's campaigns in trying to keep whales safe from Japanese fleets but now the maritime warrior is bringing its fight home, joining the campaign to keep drilling out of the Great Australian Bight.

Petroleum giant BP is seeking approval to drill four exploration wells some 2.5km deep 400km west of Port Lincoln in South Australia.

The bight is the world's biggest southern right whale nursery and the SS Steve Irwin will be in South Australian waters to document the beauty of the area and raise awareness.

"What's at stake is a wilderness of global significance," said campaign leader Jeff Hansen.

Modelling shows an oil spill in the Bight from a deep-sea well blow-out would be devastating for fisheries, tourism and marine life and could result in the closure of fisheries in the Bight, Bass Strait and even the Tasman Sea.

Even a low-flow oil spill could impact all of southern Australia's coast, from Western Australia right across to Victoria through Bass Strait and all around Tasmania.

"This coast is remote and if there was a spill like the recent one in the Gulf of Mexico, it would be impossible to clean up."


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