Independent Scientific Review Panel Says Seismic Airguns Not the Cause of Strandings

Independent Scientific Review Panel Says Seismic Airguns Not the Cause of 
HOUSTON, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 09/27/13 --  An independent
scientific review panel in a report recently released found that
seismic airguns were not the cause of stranding more than 100
melon-headed whales off the coast of Madagascar in 2008.  
Chip Gill, President of the International Association of Geophysical
Contractors (IAGC) said, "Contrary to what Oceana and others have
said, the report does not make any direct or indirect connection
between seismic blasts and death of marine animals. It actually
excludes seismic as the cause."  
IAGC is the international trade association representing all segments
of the geophysical industry, with more than 150 member companies.
IAGC's focus areas include government issues, standards, and best
practices, with an emphasis on health, safety and environmental
issues as well as the commercial health of the geophysical industry.  
A recent campaign by Oceana to stop seismic surveys in the Atlantic
Ocean claims "seismic blasts" caused the whales to become stranded
and die. The final report of the Independent Scientific Review Panel
(ISRP), the body investigating the incident, has ruled out seismic as
a potential cause of the animals leaving their typical habitat. It
has concluded that the seismic airguns that were initially thought to
have played some role, "... in the view of the ISRP clearly did not." 
The ISRP report further supports an earlier finding by NOAA National
Marine Fisheries Service in a May 11, 2012 Federal Register notice
that states, "to date, there is no evidence that serious injury,
death or stranding by marine mammals can occur from exposure to
airgun pulses, even in the case of large airgun arrays."  
"The geophysical industry takes a great deal of care and
consideration of potential impacts to the marine environment. We
implement mitigation measures to further reduce any potential impacts
to marine mammals," Gill said. "The industry has demonstrated its
ability to operate seismic exploration activities in a manner that
protects marine life. Any undertakings in the Atlantic would be done
with the same care and consideration for marine life." 
The Atlantic OCS is estimated to hold at least 3.3 billion barrels of
oil and 31.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Seismic surveys are
necessary in the Atlantic to update these estimates as the last
surveys were conducted 30 years ago. Atlantic OCS resource
development is projected to support over 160,000 jobs 15 years after
initial lease sales, fluctuating between 140,000 and 160,000 jobs
About IAGC
  IAGC is the international trade association representing
the industry that provides geophysical services (geophysical data
acquisition, seismic data ownership and licensing, geophysical data
processing and interpretation, and associated service and product
providers) to the oil and gas industry. 
More information on IAGC and the geophysical industry can be found at and 
For reference material on Marine Mammal Protection, see 
For a video overview of marine seismic operations, see 
Gail Adams
Director of Communications
713-957-8080 - office 
281-780-4520 - mobile 
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