Offshore Drilling: Seismic airguns
Seismic airguns are used to find oil and gas deep underneath the ocean floor. Airguns are so loud that they disturb, injure or kill marine life, harm commercial fisheries, and disrupt coastal economies. These dynamite-like blasts—which are repeated every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for days and weeks at a time—are 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine.
Seismic airguns are towed behind ships and shoot loud blasts of compressed air through the water and miles into the seabed, which reflect back information about buried oil and gas deposits. These blasts harm marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and other wildlife.
Impacts include temporary and permanent hearing loss, abandonment of habitat, disruption of mating and feeding, and even beach strandings and death. For whales and dolphins, which rely on their hearing to find food, communicate, and reproduce, being able to hear is a life or death matter.
In addition to being devastating for marine life, seismic airguns are the first step toward dangerous and dirty offshore drilling with associated habitat destruction, oil spills and contribution to climate change and ocean acidification.
Oceana is working to halt the use of seismic airguns, and stop the expansion of dangerous offshore drilling.
Oceana opens legal procedures against the Spanish Directorate General for Energy Policy and Mines for hiding information about drilling in the Gulf of ValenciaPress ReleaseJuly 30, 2014
Oceana regrets the ruling of the Spanish Supreme Court in favour of oil drilling in the Canary IslandsPress ReleaseJune 24, 2014
The period announced by REPSOL for the prospecting in the Canary Islands is the most dangerous time of the yearPress ReleaseFebruary 21, 2014