THANK YOU, FROM THE BOTTOM OF AUSTRALIA

In a major victory for the people of the Australian coast, Norwegian energy giant Equinor has abandoned its plan to develop the Great Australian Bight as a deep water oil field. In doing so they became the fourth major oil company in four years to walk away.

The Fight For The Bight has been a line in the sand. It is the single biggest coastal environmental action in Australian history. It has grown from a tiny grassroots group down in the Bight to a national movement involving tens of thousands of people – surfers and coastal communities stood alongside campaigners from The Wilderness Society, the Great Australian Bight Alliance, and Surfrider Foundation Australia.

We’d like to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who paddled out and spoke up for one of the last great tracts of marine wilderness on earth.


For now, the Bight will remain wild and free.

The Head of the Bight

Heath Joske is a Patagonia Ambassador who lives, surfs and fishes in the Great Australia Bight. He knows that an oil spill in the Bight would ruin this pristine coastline and has campaigned strongly against Equinor’s plans to turn the Bight a dangerous, deep water oil field. In this short film Heath journeys west across the Bight coast meeting local fishermen, scientists, surfers and activists who’ve all spoken up loudly in defence of the Bight. Heath’s destination is the Head of the Bight where he meets the indigenous custodians, already displaced by the “black mist” of the Maralinga nuclear tests and now facing another threat to their way of life.

Heath Joske is a Patagonia Ambassador who lives, surfs and fishes in the Great Australia Bight. He knows that an oil spill in the Bight would ruin this pristine coastline and has campaigned strongly against Equinor’s plans to turn the Bight a dangerous, deep water oil field. In this short film Heath journeys west across the Bight coast meeting local fishermen, scientists, surfers and activists who’ve all spoken up loudly in defence of the Bight. Heath’s destination is the Head of the Bight where he meets the indigenous custodians, already displaced by the “black mist” of the Maralinga nuclear tests and now facing another threat to their way of life.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

The climate crisis is not a forecast – its impacts are real, present and devastating. Communities and nature are both facing extinction and this includes our oceans.

In September 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered the Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. It reinforced the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the scale of changes to the oceans.

If we are to protect our oceans and marine life and ensure a liveable future for all, we must transition from fossil fuels. Equinor’s plans for the Great Australian Bight are too risky and threaten Australian coastal communities, economies, livelihoods and our marine environment.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

Changes in climate such as warming, acidification, oxygen loss etc are already disrupting marine species and ecosystems. These impacts extend to the communities who depend on them.

So far, the ocean has adopted more than 90% of the additional heat in the climate system and this is reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients for marine life.

Since 1982, there has been a doubling in marine heatwaves. If emissions continue to increase at current rates, warming events will be 50 times more prevalent.

Coastal communities that rely on seafood as part of their dietary requirements, may face risks to nutritional health and food security if fish populations continue to decline.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

“Cutting greenhouse gas emissions will limit impacts on ocean ecosystems that provide us with food, support our health and shape our cultures,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II. “Reducing other pressures such as pollution will further help marine life deal with changes in their environment, while enabling a more resilient ocean”.

More on the issue

Steve Ryan

Thousands of people rallied around Australia for the Great Australian Bight. The Fight for the Bight has become a surf and coastal activist movement the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen in decades.

Torquay, Victoria
Matty Hannon

Thousands of people rallied around Australia for the Great Australian Bight. The Fight for the Bight has become a surf and coastal activist movement the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen in decades.

Yamba, New South Wales
Murray Fraser

Thousands of people rallied around Australia for the Great Australian Bight. The Fight for the Bight has become a surf and coastal activist movement the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen in decades.

Manly, New South Wales
Che Chorley

Thousands of people rallied around Australia for the Great Australian Bight. The Fight for the Bight has become a surf and coastal activist movement the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen in decades.

Victor Harbour, South Australia