Business Insider recently posted an article entitled “Here’s How The Seismic Airgun Testing For Oil Reserves Along The Atlantic Coast May Deafen Thousands Of Whales
This article is factually incorrect. Seismic airguns do not deafen thousands of whales. They do not deafen any whales. In fact, seismic airguns do not injure whales or any other marine mammals—in the Atlantic or any other body of water.
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Your article on seismic ariguns is inaccurate and misleading.
We do not say this lightly; we conducted an in-depth review of its contents.
We appreciate your taking the necessary corrective action.
Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
To CRE federal readers:
We routinely inform the press of the following:
The consideration and ultimate acceptance of the material on an IPD by federal regulators and their regulatory overseers depends in large part on the recognized regulatory expertise and federal credentials of the managers of the organization which hosts the IPD.
The oil and gas industry has demonstrated the ability to operate seismic exploration activities in a manner that does not harm marine mammals. Marine seismic exploration is carefully regulated by the US federal government and managed by the operator to avoid harm to marine animals.
The offshore oil and gas industry and geophysical contractors take this issue seriously. They conduct detailed environmental studies and risk assessments prior to operations. Mitigation measures are carefully designed and implemented to address site-specific environmental conditions of each operation to ensure that sound exposures and vessel traffic do not harm marine mammals.
The article in question is factually incorrect and highly misleading.
Good journalism is based on facts, not on gossip, assumptions and opinions.
Ms. Liebman, why do you print an article with false statements?
Your job is to provide facts, not make this subject matter into a circus.
I ask that the leaders of “Business Insider” QC their news stories.
If CRE receives a critical number of responses it will perform a review of the comments and send an additional letter to the Managing Ediitor.
Repeating the highly emotive and sensational misinformation and lies being promulgated by environmental organizations like Oceana (which must be the source for the misinformation and lies included in the animation in the Business Insider article given the use of the “100,000 times” claim) is very lazy and misleading journalism. There are many facts that clearly demonstrate that lies and misinformation are being “fed” to an unsuspecting public, presumably in the push for circulation in the case of the media and, it the case of the environmental organizations like Oceana, the funding dollars!
1. The sound of a seismic pulse is actually about the same as that of a jet taking off – basic physics tells us that. Thus to say “100,000 times greater” is a downright lie!
2. Most whales generate significant sounds in the ocean – both by their vocalisations and by their activities. The intensity of a humpback whale breaching has been measured at the same intensity as the sound of a seismic array at just 68m. Thus, there is no way they can be deafened as the source is being towed behind a seismic vessel and the whale would avoid the seismic vessel anyway.
3. As stated by other responders, there are no known cases of whales being adversely affected by seismic surveys in over 40 years of surveys using compressed air as the source.
4. There are a number of whale populations that have been closely studied for extensive periods in the same areas that seismic surveys have been carried out and their populations have been increasing at close to biological maximum. Hence no impact from seismic surveys.
5. A seismic array operates at 2000psi. I could go down to my local hardware to purchase a high pressure water cleaner which operates at 1900psi. The water cleaner could be damaging within a metre but at 20m a person would probably not be showered! It’s the same with a seismic array, at about 20m, the pressure would be down to that of a garden hose!
Need I go on?
Please get your facts right and stop peddling misinformation and lies in pursuit of ulterior motives!
As a layperson with respect to seismic surveys but with a science background, common sense tells me that a “blast” 100,000 times louder that a jet engine taking off would be greater than that of a nuclear bomb exploding. If this were the case there would be obvious impacts to marine life and shipping, including the personnel on the seismic vessel but, there are none!! Journalism that attempts to deceive the public with sensational lies is both unethical and unprofessional.