In case you’ve been living a monk-like, screen-less existence as of late, social media feeds have been blowing up the past few weeks with Australian surfers coming up with increasingly powerful ways to tell would-be-oil-driller Equinor to shove off from the Great Australian Bight – including thousands of people paddling out in protest in Torquay and dozens of surf icons signing an open letter against the planned drilling.

Protesters showing up en masse in Torquay, Victoria over the weekend. Photo: Courtesy of Ed Sloane

“Formal plans have been lodged to turn the Great Australian Bight into a deep water oil field,” reads the letter, which is signed by Mick Fanning, Steph Gilmore, Mark Occhilupo, Taj Burrow and a few dozen more Australian surfing legends. “The drilling, planned by Norwegian oil giant Equinor for later this year, would be deep, remote and risky. If it failed, Equinor’s own spill modelling shows the potential for oil on beaches across thousands of kilometres. An oil spill in the Bight would be catastrophic, and the southern coastline of Australia would never be the same. The Bight is wild and pristine and should remain that way. The surfers below stand with the coastal communities of the Bight and beyond and call for the Great Australian Bight to be kept free from all deep water oil drilling.”

The Australian surfing community mobilized immediately following Equinor’s submission of an environmental draft plan for their proposed drilling operation in the Great Australian Bight, when an arresting image showing the company's oil-spill modeling went viral.

If you'd like to leave a comment on the proposed drilling operation, please click here to contact the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.

Find the entire open letter from Australia's surfing royalty below.

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