Guest Column: Seismic Tests Won’t Harm Fish

Coastal Review Online-01Coastal Review Online | June 27, 2016 | Nikki Martin

Editor’s note: To stimulate discussion and debate, Coastal Review Online welcomes differing viewpoints on topical coastal issues. See our guidelines for submitting guest columns. The opinions expressed here are not those of Coastal Review Online or the N.C. Coastal Federation.

Environmental activist groups continue to use misinformation targeting geophysical surveys in an effort to halt oil and gas exploration and development. As each of their unfounded claims is disproven, they adopt yet another baseless assertion to mislead the public. Among the latest efforts is the claim that geophysical surveys are harmful to fish.

Marine seismic surveys have been conducted since the 1950s, and experience shows that fisheries and seismic activities can and do successfully coexist. There has been no observation of direct physical injury or death to free-ranging fish caused by seismic survey activity, and there is no conclusive evidence showing long-term or permanent displacement of fish.

It is important to remember that seismic surveys are temporary and transient. The survey vessel is constantly in motion, and only emits signals that are local and short in duration. Similar seismic surveys conducted for academic research in Atlantic waters in the recent past did not produce any noticeable effects on commercial or recreational fish catches (based on a review of National Marine Fisheries Service data from the months surveys were conducted, noting “there was absolutely no evidence of harm to marine species” nor fish).

Read the full piece here.

National Ocean Industries Association
1120 G Street, NW • Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202.347.6900 | Email: