Marine Megafauna Studies Programme - Woodside Energy Ltd - Western Australia

Cetacean permit application C2009-0004
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, June 2009


About the application

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has received an application for a permit to interfere with cetaceans under Part 13, section 237 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

This application is for a permit to undertake aerial and vessel surveys to support a marine megafauna impact assessment for the Browse LNG Development.

The applicant is seeking to improve our understanding of:

  • Seasonal distribution and abundance of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), and other cetaceans and sirenians off the west coast of the Dampier Peninsula and offshore to Scott's Reef
  • Fine scale movement patterns (residence time) and behaviour (resting, milling and migrating) of humpback whales and other cetaceans and sirenians in the Dampier Peninsula area
  • Species diversity, seasonal distribution and abundance of dolphin species in nearshore waters in the Dampier Peninsula area
  • Fine scale behaviour and habitat preference of dolphins in the nearshore waters of the Dampier Peninsula area

Part of this research will entail some interference with cetaceans and sirenians, the aircraft could approach animals from head on and or fly directly over them and make close approaches (within 300m) during the aerial and vessel surveys (minimum distance of 50m).

The permit is requested to begin on 28 June 2009 and finish on 28 June 2014.

In accordance with the provisions of section 237(3b) of the EPBC Act, you are invited to comment on this proposal before COB 25 June 2009.

Comments can be sent by email to or in writing to:

The Director
Cetacean Conservation Section
PO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601