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April 29, 2024

Ocean Allies Assemble!

Topics: Oil and Gas

The Ocean Alliance Against Offshore Drilling convened for its first in-person meeting in Cornwall this month, and it was a corker.

The alliance, which includes NGOs such as Oceana and Greenpeace, businesses like Finisterre, as well as academics, artists and others, formed in 2023 to raise the alarm around the severe risk that oil and gas developments pose to our ocean, its marine life, and our coastal communities.

This inaugural gathering was an important opportunity to hone our shared vision and hammer down our plans to protect our ocean from Big Oil.

We dove in at the deep end by submerging ourselves in a whale song bath, courtesy of filmmaker and author of How to Speak Whale, Tom Mustill, and DJ Vahakn.

Through the power of sound, we journeyed through time and shapeshifted through space, accompanied by the guttural tones of a matriarchal orca, the rollicking squeals of a dolphin pod, and the rumbling bass of a blue whale.

The effects were centring and soothing – until the underwater noises of boats, drilling, and other human activity began to drown out any natural sounds. Offshore drilling threatens our ocean giants by interrupting their ability to communicate underwater. The sound bath was a sobering reminder of what’s at stake in this fight.

Taking on Big Oil

Alliance members then heard from Will McCallum, co-CEO of Greenpeace UK, who’s rallying words delivered a shot in the arm of inspiration.

“We’ll win the fight against oil and gas with a thousand cuts, and with hammer blows. We need to turn the thumbscrews and limit the space for these companies to operate. We HAVE to win.”

— Will Mccallum, Greenpeace UK co-CEO

Shiny pearls of wisdom garnered from working on the #StopRosebank campaign and the wider climate movement were dispensed by Suzi Shingler, Campaign Manager at Uplift.

“The fossil fuels industry is NOT part of a just future.”

— Suzi Shingler, Uplift

Jenn Humphries of Seahorse Environmental set the political scene and broke down the various nuances of the landscape, including where the Alliance can make the most impact.

“It’s so important to work together to make progress: Go fast alone, go far together.”

— Jenn Humphries, Seahorse Environmental

The deeply destructive – and often overlooked – impact of oil and gas developments on UK sea life was covered by Oceana UK’s campaign lead Naomi Tilley.

“Chronic oil is polluting our seas every day. It’s ‘normal’ and it’s appalling.”

— Naomi Tilley, Oceana UK Campaign Lead

We then got to work nailing down the nitty gritty of our vision, goals and tactics. Exciting plans are in the works building on our ongoing action  encouraging supporters to email their MPs and demand an end to new offshore drilling (sign here).

It was an honour to bring together such dedicated ocean activists to help protect our precious marine habitats.

Join us and stay tuned for important updates on how you can get involved!