Whale Nursery Safe as Equinor Ceases Plans to Drill for Oil in the Bight

Tuesday, 25 Feb, 2020

Sea Shepherd Australia has welcomed the decision by Norwegian oil-giant Equinor to abandon its plans to conduct risky deep-sea oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight - a pristine and unique marine environment that is also one of the world's most significant nurseries for southern right whales. 

The announcement of Equinor's withdrawal came after an exploration drilling licence was granted to Equinor in December 2019 to drill for oil south of the Nullarbor coastline, despite widespread community opposition to the project.

"Kudos to Equinor for joining BP and Chevron in ceasing their plans to drill for oil in our Great Australian Bight and not risking one of the world's last big intact marine wilderness areas. The whales are sure to be celebrating today."

- Sea Shepherd Australia's Managing Director Jeff Hansen

Earlier this year, over 30,000 people wrote to Australia's offshore oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA to voice their opposition against Norwegian oil-giant Equinor’s plans to risk marine life and land extracting crude oil from the Great Australian Bight. Around the country, 23 councils formally opposed such drilling while #FightfortheBight paddle-outs along Australia’s coastline garnered the support of tens of thousands of Australians. 

This victory has shown that these voices have been heard. The paddle-outs have been recognised and justice has been fulfilled for the animals and the Traditional Custodians of the Bight bio-region. This win has been made possible only through the tireless work of everyone who has taken action to defend, conserve and protect the Bight. Together, we did it!

“People will stand up and protect what they love and oh my, have the people of Australia stood up in defence of the Bight. This victory is everyone's victory."

- Jeff Hansen

As a proud member of the Great Australian Bight Alliance, Sea Shepherd Australia has been campaigning to protect the Great Australian Bight from risky deep-sea oil drilling since 2016. 

Thanks to Sea Shepherd supporters around Australia, we conducted two expeditions to the Bight aboard the mighty M/V Steve Irwin, working alongside the Traditional Custodians, the Mirning People, as well as Elder and whale song-man Uncle Bunna Lawrie to protect this beautiful area.

Our expeditions to the Bight have represented and captured the stories of our clients - the whales, seals, sharks and dolphins of this unique bio-region - and have taken the beauty and wonder of this grand area to the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

Today, Sea Shepherd applauds Equinor’s decision to withdraw from the Great Australian Bight. This comes as a result of a chorus of Australians who have voiced their concern and love for this unique and beautiful region. 

Read more about our campaigns to protect the Bight or watch and share the below video. 


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