Clouds over the horizon of the maldive islands


Seismic exploration has a large appetite, one that increasingly targets the world most precious marine environments. Exploration most often uses air guns – detonators, which generate damaging pulses able to penetrate tens to hundreds of kilometres into the Earth’s crust and travel through thousands of meters of water; these are shocks that create disaster for marine mammals and their sonar, for turtles, fish and a multitude of ocean life forms, all paying a heavy tribute to our own concupiscence.

The legendary Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean are vulnerable to sea level rise and climate change. They are also victim to their own incredible magnificence where tourism development seems to continue unharnessed. To add to this, seismic exploration projects that are unsure of success seen past records, involve a further danger, that of sound pollution. 21,000 square kilometers of reefs are home to 250 species of coral, teeming with over 1,000 species of fish in the Maldives. The reef itself is both a shelter and buffer against natural disaster. In turn the coastal communities depend on the multiple resources of this unique marine environment which is the bedrock of their economy: fisheries and tourism oriented towards dive sites, which provide three quarters of local jobs, 90% of the GDP and two thirds of the foreign exchange earnings in the Maldives.

The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), its Scientific Council, collaborating NGOs and institutions call for consultation and scientific based Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) so that governments understand the technical implications and consequences of their decisions, evaluate alternatives and mitigate impacts prior to proposed Offshore Petroleum Exploration Seismic Surveys.

The Silent Oceans Coalition is calling on the worldwide public to stand up for more silence in the oceans and appeal to decision-makers to prevent dangerous projects such as crude oil exploration from going ahead without an environmental impact assessment.

ECCEA is a member of the Silent Oceans Coalition promoting its international campaign against ocean noise pollution.



Statement of Concern about Seismic Activities to Explore - English (3.1Mb)

A Review of the Impacts of Seismic Airgun Surveys on Marine Life - English (124Kb)