Australians for Animals Inc. (AFA) is one of the few organizations in Australia focused on noisy oceans. Underwater noise is caused by shipping, pile driving, port infrastructure, seismic exploration and military weapons. As the health of the world’s oceans is constantly being degraded by governments’ inaction and failure to acknowledge the importance of living oceans, our very source of life is at risk.
Anoxic or dead zones are increasing, oxygen levels in the oceans are diminishing, many marine species are at risk of extinction as climate change and ocean acidification take their toll. The elephant in the room is underwater noise.
The purpose of this website is to overcome the censorship by governments and the media in Australia and overseas of the imminent danger which ocean noise represents. With no legislation in Australia or recognition of the impacts, no policy or research on the trauma to the marine environment, raising awareness is critically important.
AFA has a long history of involvement in underwater noise. Sister organisation, the California Gray Whale Coalition, has joined AFA in lobbying in the USA and Europe as well as Australia.
In the early 2000’s, AFA was the only NGO on an advisory committee to the federal government on the seismic industry and cetaceans. This committee drew up guidelines for the industry which are no longer used by government.
- AFA has mounted two legal challenges in the US against the US Navy over Low Frequency Sonar experiments on living heavily pregnant Gray whales and their newborn young.
- AFA has, via the California Gray Whale Coalition, held scientific workshops in the US focused on underwater noise and its impacts in the marine environment.
- AFA has given presentations at scientific conventions on underwater noise including the Society for Marine Mammalogy and the Australian Marine Science Association.
- AFA successfully lobbied the European Parliament to bring about a moratorium on Low Frequency Sonar ( LFAS), deadly military sonar.
- AFA has given presentations to the seismic industry at conferences.
- AFA put together a comprehensive submission to the World Heritage Secretariat on the impacts of underwater noise to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
- The California Gray Whale Coalition in the US played a major role in defeating the planned seismic exploration by PG&E which would have been devastating to marine life along the west coast.
- AFA and the Coalition has had extensive dialogues on noise with the California Coastal Commission and the California Natural Resources Agency, California Ocean Science Trust.
- AFA has written to every member of the House of Representatives and the Australian Senate advising on the urgent need for legislation.
- AFA has had meetings with Environment Minister Greg Hunt and provided him with an extensive background.