…Nationally and Internationally Significant
The calving grounds of the Kimberley Humpback whales are important nationally and internationally and deserve real protection. Researchers are only just beginning to understand the size and extent of the calving grounds. In October 2009 a whale survey counted nearly double the number of whales off James Price Point just north of Broome, compared to Camden Sound (18 and 10 whales per hour respectively). Legally, the Australian government protects Kimberley Humpbacks as the species is listed as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ under the EPBC Act and the Kimberley calving area is defined as ‘habitat critical to their survival’ in the Humpback Whale Recovery Plan (2005 to 2010). Situated in state waters, these two areas in the Kimberley Humpback nursery are also in the sights of Premier Barnett.
Woodside’s comments on whales off Price’s Point says just the reverse. In a letter to a query from a Broome local, this comment from the Environment Minister boggled the mind in it’s disconnection from reality.
Jude Anne: ” I HAVE RECEIVED A LETTER TODAY FROM THE ENVIRONMENT MINISTER ABOUT THE WHALES. THEY SAY THAT WOODSIDE HAVE REPORTED THAT WHALES DO NOT GIVE BIRTH UNTIL THEY REACH CAMDEN SOUND?? NOR DO THEY USE JPP AS A RESTING PLACE.. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION THE MINISTER APPROVED SEISMIC TESTING AT JPP. SOMEONE NOW NEEDS TO PROVE THE MINISTER AND WOODSIDE WRONG. THE INFO IS OUT OF DATE .”
The Woodside sponsored research is here: http://www.wamsi.org.au/sites/default/files/Final%20report%20-%20Kimberley%20satellite%20tracking%20
There are serious omissions here, no whales were tagged south of the Lacepede Islands, so the bulk of whale activity in the Eco Beach, Broome and Lacepede Islands were ignored in this research, due to pre-conceived opinions or pre-determined resuls or both.
A member of one Woodside whale survey had this to say:
Michael Tucker: “Woodside claim most whales are outside 8 km from the shoreline and outside the 30km radius. THATS BULLSHIT when i was working on the boats off JPP for Woodside , they said only log a whale sighting if they swim across the path of the vessel within 200m, so when they swim beside the boat they don’t count, one day we counted 32 whales between Cable Beach and JPP, they logged only 2 sighted for the day, how wrong ?”
Woodside’s idea of surveys, look like nothing but a pre-arranged result for their own purposes, to circumvent environmental opposition to their planned giant gas hub. This also shows that the Environment Minister is also complicit in Woodside’s FRAUD…for that is what it is.
Aerial survey reveals whales near proposed gas site www.perthnow.com.au/business/...whales-near-proposed-gas-site/… Richard Costin: “Based on our recent research, there is no doubt that the area around James Price Point is at least as significant for humpback whales as other sites that have been considered unsuitable for industrial development due to whale activity,” Mr Costin said.