Otway Coastal Environment Action Network

Otway Coastal Environment Action Network (OCEAN) is a local action group that supports non-violent direct action to prevent seismic blasting and new gas development in the Otway Basin, VIC.


What we do: OCEAN supports non-violent direct action to prevent seismic blasting and new gas development in the Otway Basin. We value the power of mobilising communities into action to have positive wins for our marine and coastal environments.

Seismic testing awareness goes mainstream
The Guardian published a major news piece on Seismic testing, explaining how exploring this latest large release of ocean acreage for gas development fifteen years away is at odds with emissions reduction targets.

OCEAN march against seismic blasting & gas expansion
OCEAN marched down the main street of Apollo Bay to raise awareness of Seismic Testing and Gas Exploration in the Otway Basin. Yaraan Bundle, proud Gunditjmara woman, spoke after the march about bringing awareness to sea country and protection of the Southern Right Whale (Koontapool) and their song line country. She paid her respects to the Gadubanud country and praised OCEAN on their efforts to care for country. Please have a listen to Yaraan, she is inspiring. OCEAN also launched it’s NO NEW GAS bins campaign.

OCEAN activists disrupt Seismic Survey Ship enroute to King Island waters
Geelong, VIC, Sunday August 15, 1:30 AEST – Today a group of activists were arrested for disrupting the loading of the seismic survey ship the Geo Coral whilst in the Port of Corio, Geelong. The ship is enroute to explore for new gas and oil in the Otway Basin west of King Island. Over 40 protesters approached the ship on surfboards and blockaded the high security gateway to the port. The offshore title to be surveyed is owned by gas and oil companies’ 3D Oil and ConocoPhillips and covers an area of 4,089 square kms. The plans have rung alarm bells for fishers, environmentalists and King Islanders. Surrounding Councils including Colac Otway Shire, Surf Coast and King Island Council have officially opposed seismic testing in the waters of the Otway Basin. Seismic blasting involves releasing 259 decibel blasts from the rear of the ship, to determine gas and oil deposits deep below the ocean floor. Lisa Deppeler from OCEAN explains “The blasts are so loud they are no longer a sound you can actually hear; they are a massive shock wave of energy; scientific evidence confirms the blasts kill, damage and disturb a huge array of marine creatures including whales. Research has shown blasts destroy zooplankton for at least 1.5kms radius. These blasts go off every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day sometimes for months on end. Torquay Surfer Belinda Baggs led the paddle out to the ship. “We are frustrated by the token consultation offered by our government regulator, NOPSEMA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety Environment Management Authority). We write letters and respond to what little opportunity there is from NOPSEMA but our efforts are just ignored. NOPSEMA is just another arm of the gas and oil industry as far as I’m concerned”. Trevor Barker, 3rd generation fisherman from Apollo Bay attended the protest in Corio. Trevor says he has seen a significant decline in crayfish catches over the last few years. Fishing grounds that have been blasted can take more than 5 years to recover after a seismic ship has been through. Lisa Deppeler OCEAN concluded by saying “Today was a rare opportunity to interact with a survey vessel. We hope our efforts have raised awareness about the existence of seismic ships and seismic testing to the public. It’s a dirty little secret that the gas and oil industry would prefer we didn’t know about. It happens out to sea, out of sight and out of mind of ordinary Australians”.

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