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New study on whether seismic testing has damaged Bass Strait fishery

New study on whether seismic testing has damaged Bass Strait fishery.


Bass Strait fishermen blaming falling scallop yields on seismic testing, but the allegation is rejected by resources companies.(Charlie McKillop)

Scallop fishermen believe a new study will prove that seismic testing by oil and gas exploration companies in Bass Strait is responsible for the deaths of marine life.

The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies will carry out the research, which will concentrate on the effects of seismic activity on scallops and rock lobsters.

CEO of the Tasmanian Scallop Fishermen’s Association Bob Lister believes testing in 2010 killed around 24,000 tonnes of scallops, and the industry is still suffering with a poor scallop season this year in Bass Strait..

“Something like 200 tonnes of scallops has been harvested to date, but that’s a very small quantity given the very large area that we’re looking into,” he said.

“Again, we believe it’s the impact of seismic causing deaths to mature scallops, growing scallops and probably the larvae of scallops that have caused that season to be very poor.”


The Scallop Paddocks

The Australian scallop fishery is now a fraction of its former self, the industry is struggling with regulations and trying to stay ahead of a mysterious algal bloom.


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