Encounter Bay whales and their nursery under threat!
‘URGENT’ – Public submissions needed by this Friday 22nd January regarding concern on construction of new Granite Island Causeway during whale season.
RE: GRANITE ISLAND CAUSEWAY PROJECT
Construction of a new Causeway from Victor Harbor to Granite Island has been planned to take place during whale season.
We at ‘Encounter Whales’ are not opposed to the Granite Island Causeway Project if the existing heritage Causeway cannot be restored.
However, we strongly oppose construction work occurring in whale season (May-November). Underwater noise threatens our nursery.
- The noise generated by pile driving and construction works will be considerable.
- Noise travels 1.5 km per second under water and is much more intense.
- This noise will be heard by the whales from tens of kilometres away as they approach on their migration corridors.
- Many of the mitigation strategies proposed by the construction company for minimising the effect of construction noise on the whales are either inadequate or inappropriate for Encounter Bay as a sensitive breeding and nursery area.
- This sustained noise could deter the endangered Southern Right whales coming to or staying in Encounter Bay.
- Approaching whales will be put off coming into Encounter Bay.
- Whales that enter Encounter Bay when things are quieter i.e., during night or during lulls in construction, will be driven out again when construction works recommence.
- Current research indicates whales remember unpleasant experiences and avoid those areas in subsequent years. Consequently, economic loss to the region as a result of fewer whales will continue beyond construction years.
Encounter Bay is recognised as an important breeding area for the endangered Southern Right Whale. It contains a nursery where pregnant females rest, and mothers and calves can spend several months in residence.
Common sense suggests construction work should be undertaken outside of whale season (November to April) without risking the whales.
How to have your say …
The Granite Island Causeway Project development application by Department for Infrastructure and Transport is currently before the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP), and the public consultation period closes this Friday 22nd January.
We encourage everyone to email your comments ASAP to email@example.com. The deadline is before midnight Friday.
- Please include your name and contact details and clearly reference Development Number: 453/V010/20 on your submission.
- State your objection to construction works taking place during the endangered Southern Right Whale breeding season.
For more details regarding the development application visit https://plan.sa.gov.au/have_your_say/notified_developments/state_developments (Scroll down to 3rd application listed under Crown Development heading.)
We have prepared this short pro forma for those who might like some help with submitting comment.
- The proposed timing of the Granite Island Causeway Project Development overlaps with the breeding season of the endangered Southern Right Whale (May-November).
- There is a high probability that the noise from the pile driving and associated causeway construction, will negatively affect migrating southern right whales, especially mothers and calves that reside in Encounter Bay.
- The Granite Island Causeway development should take place outside the breeding season for the Southern Right Whale.
Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.