Seismic tests put fishing jobs at risk, industry warns
Seismic tests put fishing jobs at risk, industry warns

A fishing industry chief says more than 2000 jobs could be under threat if oil and gas exploration goes ahead off the coast of South Australia's Kangaroo Island.

He says tuna stocks worth hundreds of millions of dollars are at risk.

Bight Petroleum has been granted a lease for oil and gas exploration in the Duntroon Basin - 100km west of Kangaroo Island and south of Port Lincoln.

It would be similar to testing done in the 1980s, covering three square kilometres.

Iain MacDougall from Bight Petroleum told 7News: “There have been several seismic surveys there in the past. We’ll be using best practices to ensure there is no impact on the environment.”

But Brian Jeffriess from the Tuna Industry Association said fishers are worried the noisy seismic testing will scare away their catch.

“It’s exactly the area we fish and exactly the area we tow our pontoons to Port Lincoln.”

The association is calling for the seismic testing to be delayed until the end of the tuna fishing season in April.

“They have an alternative, we don’t,” Mr Jeffriess said.

A 10-day consultation period has allowed Kangaroo Island locals to voice their concerns, but they are now waiting to see if they are heard.

A decision will be made in the coming weeks, and Bight Petroleum could be drilling by 2015.

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