Fish kills could come with seismic testing - Abrahams
The day after David Abrahams attended the Hands Across the Water protest about what seismic testing would do to marine life, he found hundreds of dead fish off Killcare Beach.
"I was the one who reported the fish kill at 5am on Monday morning,'' Mr Abrahams said.
"We think there were a couple of thousand.
"The first thing I thought was that we can expect this to happen much more regularly if seismic testing goes ahead.''
Mr Abrahams, an independent candidate standing for election on May 18 in the federal seat of Robertson, has been campaigning to get his fellow election candidates to commit to fighting the exploration permits.
He said he was aware of the Department of Primary Industries' advice that the fish wash-up was the result of a faulty net from a legal commercial fishing operation but he was seeking full clarification.
"It's very odd that there were so many fish - more than a small trawler net and some of the fish looked traumatised,'' he said.
Mr Abrahams was one of hundreds of people who gathered at Umina Beach on Sunday, May 5, to oppose proposed 3D seismic blasting for offshore oil and gas exploration.
Save Our Coast founder Dr Natasha Deen said more than 1000 people held hands from Umina Beach along to Ocean Beach, covering more than 1km of coastline to symbolise defending the coast.
"We are sending a powerful message to our federal MPs and electoral candidates, and the oil and gas companies, that the communities from Newcastle, The Central Coast and the Northern Beaches are united in opposition to this devastating plan for seismic blasting and offshore oil or gas rigs off our beautiful coast,'' Dr Deen said.
"The communities along the east coast of NSW are deeply connected to our coast and we will continue to oppose PEP 11 (Petroleum Exploration Permit) every step of the way, to protect our marine animals and Save Our Coast that we all love."
She said seismic testing involved underwater airgun blasts that detonated every few seconds 24 hours a day continuously for days or weeks on end.
Scientific evidence has been shown that it could kill plankton over 1km away, impacting on the entire ecosystem, as well as affecting the atmosphere and climate resilience, she said.
Local environmentalist and bushcraft teacher Mr Jake Cassar, who grew up on the Peninsula and still lives on the Coast, said: "It's heartening to see people from different backgrounds, age groups and socio economic demographics coming together on this important issue.
"The Central Coast is starting to build a strong and resilient community that passionately lobbies against anything that threatens our beautiful region.
"There is genuine interest and enthusiasm for protecting the place we are so privileged to call home," he said.
Petroleum Exploration Permit allows exploration of 4500 square kilometres and runs along the coast from Newcastle, through Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast to Manly.
There will be another Hands Across the Sand event at Manly on Saturday May 11 at 3pm, a collaborative event with Surfrider, Living Ocean and Save Our Coast.
Media Release, 7 May 2019
Natasha Deen. Save Our Coast,
Interview, 7 May 2019
David Abrahams, Independent candidate for Robertson
Jake Cassar, Jake Cassar Bushcraft