The cold and violent waters of the Great Australian Bight are home to one of the country’s most biodiverse and important marine ecosystems, the heart of its fishing industry, a growing tourism hotspot – and potentially its newest oil field.
|The mouth of the Murray river, where it flows into the Great Australian Bight.|
Of the species in the bight, 85% are found nowhere else on the planet. It is a breeding ground for the endangered southern right whale and a feeding zone for Australian sea lions, great white sharks, migratory sperm whales and short-tailed shearwaters.
It’s also an untapped resource, the economic benefits of which could be “enormous”, say oil and gas groups. Environmentalists, scientists and members of the communities that ring the bight worry the damage too could be enormous.
Read Helen Davidson’s story from The Guardian - “Impending blight: how Statoil's plans threaten the Great Australian Bight.”