Alannah MacTierman says seismic testing threat to Broome pearling industry

Written on the 8 March 2016

Alannah MacTierman says seismic testing threat to Broome pearling industry

A "David and Goliath battle" is underway along the Kimberley coast as testing for oil and gas creeps closer to the world's only major wild pearl oyster fishery.

Federal member for Perth Alannah MacTiernan raised concerns of a "perfect storm" in Broome as sound waves for seismic testing blasted oyster stocks, a method the pearling industry called "reckless" and "destructive".

Ms MacTiernan is on a parliamentary committee whose latest aquaculture report called for a taskforce to examine the issue.

The committee heard evidence that the whole of the Kimberley and Pilbara pearling area had been "under siege" from oil and gas exploration, particularly seismic testing, in recent years.

While it had mostly been in deep water, in December a company applied to survey the entire 80 Mile Beach area near Broome, directly over the world's last commercial wild pearl oyster fishery, which supports up to 80 per cent of the Australian pearling industry.


Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Image: Cygnet Bay Pearls



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