Big Oil’s Deadly Atlantic Surveys

*Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) approved five permits, or, Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHC) for oil and gas seismic surveys along much of the Atlantic Seaboard.

It’s the first oil and gas exploration in the U.S. Atlantic in 30 years.  The approval, which requires a final consent from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, has hideous consequences for millions of sea creatures.

seismic surveys
Sonic explosions demolish cetacean eardrums, which result in internal bleeding that leads to a slow and very painful death. Image credit: Alan Walter/Reuters

A 2014 study by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management concluded that seismic surveys, or, pulses of 242 decibels every 10 seconds nonstop for weeks or months on end, could excruciatingly shatter eardrums and kill thousands of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), sea lions, sea otters, manatees as well as sharks, bluefin tunas, sea turtles and injure more than 100,000 marine mammals.

seismic surveys
The Atlantic area outlined by red will be continuously blasted for months on end in search of pockets of subsea petroleum. Image credit: Oceana

Those pernicious Man-made sonic pulses will disrupt an area in the Atlantic of 116,000 square miles. That incessant cacophony will also annihilate up to 64 percent of the zooplankton larvae hiding, feeding and co-existing amongst the phytoplankton. It’s a crucial strand of the marine food web that is being sacrificed as Big Oil’s “collateral damage” for more climate-destroying greenhouse gases.

At 200 tons, or, the equivalent wight of 15 school buses, the blue whale is the largest and most extraordinary creature to ever live on the face of the Earth. Image credit: Nat Geo

Ongoing seismic blasting in Alaskan waterways is deafening 16 species of cetaceans including blues, bowheads, narwhals, belugas, fins, Grays, minkes, sperms, seis, orcas, harbor porpoises and all marine life near the North Pole. A deaf whale is a dead whale.

From Delaware to Florida, the 440 or so remaining critically endangered North Atlantic Right whales will face an unbearable barrage of blaring torment from subsidized Big Oil scouring the ocean floor for every last drop of poisonous petroleum.

In order to obviate predators like orcas hearing them speak, humpback calves whisper to their mothers. Image credit: UNESCO

Man-made noises from 100,000 cargo vessel propellers, subsea mining and constructionmilitary exercises and oil & gas seismic surveys are drowning the song of the sea, the call of the whales. The global acoustic fog, or, undersea noise, is so loud that cetaceans are hiding for cover. They are terribly stressed as evidenced from their earwax plugs and excrement samples. Humpbacks are going quiet whilst dolphins are “shouting” like people in a noisy bar.

In January 2017, the Obama administration refused 6 seismic survey permits along the Atlantic coastline because the explosions were deemed far too risky for marine life. Incidentally, the United Nations (UN) Convention on Law Of The Sea states that all countries are to lessen undersea noise pollution, including lethal seismic surveys.

Category 4 Hurricane Harvey (2017) dumped an astounding 27 trillion gallons of water (60.58 inches), flooding 500,000 cars, 300,000 structures, inflicting 107 fatalities with a whopping price tag of $125 billion. Image credit: Earther

The Trump administrations latest Atlantic seismic survey decision comes just after the U.S. 4th Climate Assessment that forewarned of the horrendous consequences for Americans from burning more fossil fuels.

In spite of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) currently taking place in Katowice, Poland, the Trump administration announced its intention to cancel all electric vehicle (EV) and other renewable credits whilst continuing to subsidize fossil fuels including seismic surveying.

Alberta’s Tar Sands are one of the single biggest source sites of carbon pollution choking the planet. Image credit:

In 2017, U.S. rollbacks on climate restrictions led to JPMorgan Chase upping its Tar Sands investments by four fold. Also, 36 banks increased their coal investments by six percent after decreasing it the year prior by 38 percent. At the same time, those banks decreased their investments in renewables by seven percent.

The natural world is in your hands.”

Human civilization is clearly at the crossroads. The planet is cooking to death from accelerating fossil fuel heat. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concluded that 197 countries must quickly reduce fossil fuel emissions and embrace a zero-combustion economy or face the unimaginable global catastrophic consequences.

It does not have to be like this.

seismic surveys
The frequency of the electromagnetic field of planet Earth is changing. Image credit: Ultimatescience

There is hope. The Schumman resonance, or, the measure of Earth’s electromagnetic field, which has remained constant at 7.83 Hertz (Hz) for centuries, has begun to shift.

That resonance is Earth’s heartbeat. It influences the biological circuitry of mammalian brains (and other animals too). In 2014, the Russian Space Observatory System detected a sudden increased activity from 8.5-16.5Hz. On January 31, 2017, the frequency recordings topped36Hz.

Man, just like all other animals, is inextricably linked to Earth’s heartbeat. All life is feeling stressed, yet higher frequencies, particularly gamma brain waves in mammals are linked to elevated consciousness, i.e. love and compassion. Millions of people are also adding to the global collective consciousness by becoming vegans. They are consciously recognizing the importance of co-existing and protecting our brethren, the animals.

Burning fossil fuels robs oxygen from the atmosphere. We need all the cetaceans alive, farming the sea and providing us with more oxygen. It’s a no-brainer. End all seismic surveys globally and the annual $5.3 trillion fossil fuel subsidies now. We have a blueprint for a safer future with zero-combustion technologies and the ability to immediately implement them globally.

Sea Shepherd

Support the direct action conservation movement Sea Shepherd because they are protecting our friends, the whales.

Join the resistance and protect our only home and our mother, Nature!




Dr. Reese Halter

Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.

Dr Reese Halter’s latest book is
Love! Nature

Tweet @RelentlessReese


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