A $10M (Australian) study covering 400 km2 of reef areas off Australia investigated the effects of sound from seismic air-guns on fish.

Scientific Conclusions:

  • No Major Changes in Fish Behaviour
  • No Damage to Coral Assemblages
  • No Impacts on Fish Hearing
  • No Long term Impact on Fish Populations


The study involved detailed measurements of fish hair cells in otoliths (fish hearing organ) as well as the effects of sound on other reef organisms.

Ocean bottom and ocean column hydrophones monitored sounds emitted by a large 3D seismic survey.

Dr. Chris Battershill with the Commonwealth’s Government’s Australian Institute of Marine Science summarized the findings by stating that there is “No effect whatsoever from the seismic air-guns”.

Other researchers on the study include:

Dr. Rob McCauley, Associate Professor, Center for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University, Australia

Dr. Mardi C. Hastings, Adjunct Professor in Acoustics/Dynamics, Georgia Tech, The George W. Woodruff School or Mechanical Engineering, USA

Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds, Research Associate & Assistant Professor, Penn State, USA


A summary of the study is available at: http://vimeo.com/66775457


1 comment. Leave a Reply

  1. Anonymous

    Congratulations to Woodside Energy and research partners Curtin University, Penn State University, The Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, and The Australian Northern Territory Dept of Regional Development, Primary Industry and Fisheries and Resources.
    This is a landmark study which should help calm concerns by fisheries worldwide.

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