Stop Air Gun Blasting Irish Sea for Nuclear Dump

by Marianne Birkby in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, United Kingdom

We did it
On 5th June 2022 we successfully raised £854 with 22 supporters in 28 days

Raising funds to commission expert reports into the impacts of airgun blasting on marine life in the Irish Sea.

by Marianne Birkby in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

All Funding will be used to counter and challenge the plan to airgun blast the Irish Sea.  Dedicated reports into the impacts is a first step.

Seismic testing will begin this summer in the Irish Sea ...

....unless we can stop it.   That is why we want to commission an expert and independent report into the impacts of seismic testing on marine life in the Irish Sea and deliver the report to the UK authorities responsible for this plan....

THE PLAN: A ship in the Irish Sea will fire blasts of sound from air guns every 10 seconds for four weeks or more. This sound penetrates deep under the ocean floor to relay information about the geology.  The sound in the ocean from airguns can travel thousands of miles from the source.

WHY: Nuclear Waste Services (under the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) have been looking at the deep disposal of hot nuclear wastes. Under the Irish Sea is being actively considered. Seismic testing is preparation for: "Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility."  The CEO of West Cumbria Mining (currently focussed on coal) is advising Government on the digging of an enormous vault (or two) of 25km square.  These vaults would be used to "dispose" of nuclear wastes and this seismic survey is the opening salvo in the quest for sub-sea "disposal" of heat generating nuclear wastes.

WHO DECIDED? There has been no public consultation or vote, Nuclear Waste Services, Radioactive Waste Management, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the handful of people on the Mid-Copeland "Community Partnership" (who do not represent the public ) decided to green light the plan over the heads of the public.  Shearwater GeoServices have been contracted to carry out the seismic survey. 

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? Not only could creatures like whales, dolphins and seals in the Irish Sea be harmed, but everything down to tiny shellfish and even plankton could be impacted. Effects from blasting, can cause  deafness to marine life and impair ability to navigate and find food.   The Irish Sea is a Marine Protected Zone because of its wealth of biodiversity and vulnerable species. 

Finally, If you cannot donate to the fundraiser for an independent report then please help spread the word about this plan by signing and sharing our petition at

Lets Save the Whale and the Snail and Protect the Irish Sea


The reward for a donation of £60 is this fabulous T shirt ( 2 available) - Get togged up and tell the world that we need to Save our Marine Life.  Generous size.

1652801825_minke_whale_eye_by_marianne_b.jpgThis is the Reward for a donation of £300. The original drawing is on black paper size 23.4 x 16.5 inches provided in a tube ready for framing. Original chalk and charcoal drawing inspired by the amazing photographs of Minke Whales by Bryant Austin . Only one available!




References and More Info:

"Surveys are due to take place off the coast of Mid and South Copeland for around three – four weeks this summer between July and August to deepen understanding about the nature of the deep rocks beyond the coast. This is part of the work required within the siting process for the underground elements of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)." Mid-Copeland Partnership

"Seismic airguns create one of the loudest manmade sounds in the ocean. During seismic surveys, ships pull large arrays of airguns that release loud pressurized blasts of air through the ocean and into the seafloor. Noise from airguns can disturb, injure or kill marine animals from zooplankton, the base of the food web, to large whales. " Oceana

"Minke whales are generally spotted alone or in small feeding groups feasting on schools of fish or krill. They are what is known as a "gulp feeder", meaning they take a huge gulp of fish and push the seawater out through the baleen plates that line their mouths. You can sometimes spot minke whales lunge feeding into a school of fish near the surface." Living Seas North West

"investigation initially focuses on the deep geology within the inshore area up to 22km beyond the coast." Mid-Copeland Community Partnership

"The findings of the present study add to an expanding body of work indicating that marine invertebrates demonstrate physiological impacts and changes to behavioural/reflex capacity in response to exposure to anthropogenicaquatic noise. Negative impacts from seismic surveys have now been reported following simulated exposure in the lab-oratory, field exposure under controlled experimental conditions, and incidental exposure in the wild. "  Royal Society Publishing

The government's strategy to overcome its failure to find a safe nuclear disposal site as follows:

*Wait 15 years, commissioning no substantive new research.
*Remove the right to future planning inquiries.
*Find a 'volunteer community'- i.e. West Cumbria.
*Remove evidence of the planning inquiry where possible.
*Present the inquiry failure as a local technical difficulty at one particular locality (Longlands Farm).
*Ignore the detailed national search carried out by the British Geological Survey in the 1980s.
*Pretend that we don't yet know enough about the area, geologically, to rule it out.
*Ignore international guidelines and practice on repository safety.
*Wrongly claim that other countries have solved the siting problem by volunteerism, and ignoring the geology.
*Spend £1M per annum on PR in West Cumbria.
*Buy off local councils with bribes ('community benefit packages').

Prof David Smythe

"The seabed here ranges from fine sand to mixed and coarse sediment, providing a home for a variety of animals such as anemones, sea urchins, bivalves (animals with paired, hinged shells), starfish, and bryozoans (“moss animals”). The site is especially important for the protection of subtidal coarse sediment habitats and the communities supported by them, particularly in deep water." Wildlife Trusts

It is becoming clear that the coal mine and the nuclear dump are connected - not least because the coal mine boss is advising government on the nuclear dump plans and those plans literally overlap the coal boss's coal mine area (the Offshore No. 2 area with largely no known coal reserve).  



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£300 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Through Minke Whale Eyes

A Chalk and Charcoal Drawing by Marianne B of a Minke Whale Eye

£3 or more

Save the Whale and the Snail

The reward is knowing that you helped to Save the Whale and the Snail from airgun blasting in the Irish Sea.

£20 or more

3 of 5 claimed

No Nuclear Dump Anywhere- Badge

Show your support for the Irish Sea and All Our Oceans!

£50 or more

1 of 3 claimed

Through Minke Whale Eyes - a high resolution image

You will be emailed a high resolution image of "Through Minke Whale Eyes" which can be used for free personal use - on T Shirts, Prints etc (not for resale)

£60 or more

1 of 2 claimed

T Shirt

Get togged up with a T Shirt - unisex and generous size

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.