Surf Magazine Editor’s anti-oil drilling campaign forces “Norwegian Scumbags” to scrap $200-million plan to mine in the Great Australian Bight!

A glorious win? Yes?

Big news in the surfers vs corpo overlord files today.

If you frequent social media you’d be familiar with the #fightforthebight campaign that’s been waged against Norwegian resources company, Equinor.

The Nords wanted to extract oil deep below the seafloor of the Great Australian Bight marine park, a couple hundred clicks off the South Australian coastline, in one of the wildest and most pristine environments you’ll find anywhere on earth.

A $200m project to deepwater drill in the conservation-listed area.

Funny thing is, Equinor could have maybe snuck under the radar with their plans if it wasn’t for a self-inflicted PR blunder, an own goal, that saw them release a map showing every possible oil spill dispersion from the proposed site, based off all the conceivable combinations of wind, swell, ocean current etc.

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Okay, it’s on. These Norwegian scumbags @equinor have officially announced their intentions to drill in the Great Australian Bight later this year. They’ll be 300km off the coast and drilling 5km down and it’s sketchy beyond belief. This is a map of their own spill modeling. Pretty much the whole surfable Australian coast would be covered in oil. It would be Australia’s own Deepwater Horizon. We’ve got 30 days to stop this and if you surf you need to lend your voice. We need to bury these kooks in protest. There’s a formal submission before NOPSEMA who are making the call on it… public comment link in bio, takes five minutes, let em know how you feel. Equinor are two-thirds state owned by the Norwegian government, so you need to get your Norwegian friends to make some noise at home. Equinor are particularly sensitive to criticism at home as they paint themselves as a clean energy company in Norway, but hide their dirty work half a world away in Australia. If you want some short term gratification send @equinor a message. They’re getting lit up over there at the moment. I apologize in advance for the next 28 days but I’ll be going hard to stop this. #fightforthebight

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When looked at without context it appeared that a single spill would sully the waters from Port Macquarie in the east to Albany in the west, all at once. In American terms, that’d be from North Carolina to Baja.

Immediately the strategic initiative was lost.

That single image galvanised a groundswell of public support, led by former Tracks editor Sean Doherty and South Oz core lord Heath Joske.

Everyone from Taj Burrow to fastidiously manicured eco-warrior-influencers got behind the push, along with a bunch of NGOs. There were insta shares, IRL paddle outs across the affected areas. It was even successfully weaponised as a local issue in last year’s federal election.

The campaign worked.

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Just got the news through that Equinor have pulled their plan for the Great Australian Bight and are currently kicking a can back to Norway. Best Tuesday news I’ve had in a long time. They’ll try and save face and say it was the economics and the oil price, but the real reason is what you see right here. For every single person who paddled out around the country, and for all you legends down there in the Bight who’ve been fighting this for years, take a moment to fully appreciate what you’ve done. By paddling out and speaking up and fighting this colossally stupid idea, you’ve kept the Bight wild and free and saved it for future generations. Couldn’t be more proud of you mob. Go have a beer. I just cracked one at 10.45am. #fightforthebight

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Equinor said in a statement today that it has pulled out of the project for economic reasons after a “holistic view of its exploration portfolio.”

The Australian government ain’t happy.

Its wonderfully named resources minister, Keith Pitt, had recently doubled down on his predecessor’s love for the project and the sector in general, declaring Australia’s doors open for business to offshore oil and gas.

For him this withdrawal is a hit to the economy.

Jobs, growth ‘n all that.

You won’t see any such sad faces from me though.

I reckon it’s a great win. What grass-roots political action should look like.

You can make your jibes about surfers and their carbon footprints, burn your smartphones if you wanna be a greenie etc.

It’s a strawman argument.

Things ain’t black and white.

The resource sector is still an important part of the economy, but it needs to be managed in an environmentally sustainable way.

Deepwater drilling in a marine national park ain’t that.

This is a good outcome.

A couple of Qs were shot to Doherty but there was no response at the time of writing, assuming the gloried surf writer slash activist is enjoying a celebratory beer or three.

What do you think?

Is it a glorious win for surfers and the environment?

Or self-sabotage from a bunch of dewy eyed hypocrites during a time of increasing economic uncertainty?

Watch: “Vulnerable” 10-foot Great White shark circles small fishing boat while keeping hungry eyes on nearby surfers!

We're going to need a bigger butt.

Once upon a time, “man-eating” Great White sharks were nearly unheard of off New Zealand’s Middle Earth-esque coast. Certainly there were Bronze Whalers, Giant Basking sharks, the tiny Pygmy sharks and Frodo Gogganses but no Great Whites. The country bled black. Only black. All black.

Well the only constant is change, as climate scientists love to say, and the apex predator is now everywhere in New Zealand, turning the waters a sickly shade of grey.

How could you forget the “Smack Bang in the Eye” heard around the world?

The “Big Fat Guy” who tried to take a blushing Great White to his goggans hole?

The fact that a probably mass extinction event is likely underway right now, near Aukland City, and I’m not talking Coronavirus?

All grey indeed.

And the very latest, a 10-foot Great White came up from the depths startling two young fishermen. Shall we gather their account first hand from another source? It’s the shark-cum-surf journalist way.

The early morning glassy water on the outskirts of Anzac Bay, north of Tauranga, was the perfect time and place to head out and go fishing.

But the kingfish on the minds of Katikati’s 19-year-old Ryan Crapp and his friend Scott quickly turned to a 3.5m great white shark.

The pair had bait fish trailing the boat and Crapp thought the fish “darting everywhere” was a sign they were in for a catch.

“At first I thought, sweet, there’s some kingfish hanging around and then I saw the fin pop up and thought it was a pesky old bronze whaler (shark).”

“Oh s***, that’s a great white,” he said when he saw the shark’s distinct white underbelly and facial features.

The boys weren’t scared, clearly, but the surfers paddling across this very stretch to a nearby break certainly would have been had they seen the same distinct white underbelly and facial features. They would have been scared then likely playing one-arm’d basketball. One-leg’d rugby.

The region’s various scientists were interested/thrilled by the sighting as it was so rare and the species is listed as “vulnerable”  but they clearly don’t read BeachGrit and clearly aren’t aware of the coming end.

Very scary.

The crunch of bones etc.

Watch here.

Watch: Couple brutally arrested on Mexico beach for allegedly refusing to purchase, enjoy cocktails!

Surfers Paradise.

It sometimes feels like our kind, our nasty surfing kind, is nearing extinction. Laws against punching people in the face who drop in, punching them in the neck when they paddle too close, throwing rocks at people who aren’t local, flipping a board over and bashing the fins right out, menacing and causing a general nuisance now cover most beaches.


We’re being hunted into extinction but thankfully there’s a beach in Mexico holding on to our values. Our way of life for just this past weekend a couple was arrested for refusing to get lit and let’s hurry to Fox News for a fair and balanced take on the incident.

On Sunday, a man and woman were handcuffed by police at Mamitas Beach Club in Playa del Carmen for hanging out on the shore, but not purchasing anything from the club’s bar.

In the clip, a group of police is seen surrounding the couple as they pack up their belongings in a towel. The woman resists being handcuffed and cries, while her shirtless partner seemingly complies with the authorities.

According to The Sun, local media reported that the beach club alleges to exclusively own the portion of the beach area where the tourists were arrested, though locals have argued that the beach is federal property where all are welcome.

“The beaches in Mexico are NOT private Mamitas Beach, they are [for] all Mexicans. Enough of treating nationals like trash!” the Twitter user who posted the arrest video said.

The woman was reportedly left bleeding from the forceful arrest, The Sun reports.

Well, I don’t understand what the trouble is and think many more beaches should adopt the Mamitas attitude and force visitors to purchase, enjoy cocktails. Imagine what a glorious scene Snapper would turn into if forced alcohol was part of the price. Imagine Malibu after a three drink minimum.

We’d be free once again.

Celebrate: Noosa joins Santa Cruz, Manly Beach as world’s tenth “Surfing Reserve!”


As surfers, as Co-Waterpersons of the Year in waiting, we know how important the ocean’s waves are to our overall way of life. Without them we’d be but clanging gongs. But YouTube sensation Ben Gravies sliding down funny little boat wakes and storm gutters and whatnots having the absolute times of our lives but… not really surfing.

Oh, I take absolutely nothing away from Ben Gravy, he is our world’s happy smile, but… the ocean’s waves are why most of us do what we do. Why we wake up early, get cold on purpose etc.

Thankfully, there is a way to honor the waves that mean something… more. Waves that have imprinted themselves, indelibly, on our psyches.

In 2009, “Save The Waves Coalition, along with key partners National Surfing Reserves (NSR) Australia and the International Surfing Association (ISA), launched World Surfing Reserves. The program serves as a global model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognizing and protecting the key environmental, cultural, economic and community attributes of surfing areas.”

Very fine.

It is a lengthy process to have a wave, or region I suppose, declared a World Surf Reserve. Applications and voting etc. but yesterday Noosa there on Australia’s Sunshine Coast joined the ranks of Malibu, Ericeria, Manly Beach, Santa Cruz, Huanchaco, Bahia de Todos Santos, Australia’s Gold Coast, Punta de Lobos and Guarda do Embaú to become the tenth World Surfing Reserve.

“Noosa has always been leading the way on how to protect surf ecosystems and critical coastal habitats proactively and simultaneously benefit local people and the economy,” said Nik Strong-Cvetich, executive director of Save The Waves.

Layne Beachley and Noosa’s mayor were on hand to celebrate the declaration, the day, and bravo Noosa.

Now, are there any places we should push as a World Surfing Reserve/

What about where World Surf League CEO and Lord Commander over The Wall of Positive Noise Erik Logan cut his supping teeth?

Manhattan Beach, California.

Can we all get behind this?


Or Surf Ranch, Lemoore?

Longtom on: the effectiveness of shark deterrents and Lennox groms “strapping knives to their calves ready for hand-to-hand combat with Great Whites!”

What… doesn't… work is "education"…

One of the things I’m proudest of, when I look around at my fellow surf brethren and sistren, is our level of detailed knowledge of sharks and shark deterrents.

To a man, woman and child I don’t know a single one who doesn’t get apoplectic when some egghead suggests that “education” is somehow an effective amelioration for reducing shark attacks.


Where’s the fucking evidence?

There ain’t none.

Even the chief shark researching stud Charlie Huveneers, Associate Prof at South Australia’s Flinders University drops it in his gold standard peer-reviewed science paper on the effectiveness of the various commercially available personal shark deterrents.

(Read here.)

I mention as counterpoint to a new vid dropped by personal deterrent brand Sharkbanz – which claims to work by using a magnetic field to disrupt the electro-receptors contained in an organ most elasmobranchs* possess which rejoices under the the moniker: Ampullae of Lorenzini**.

The Sharkbanz footage, filmed in the glorious blue waters of the north-west of Western Australia is, of course, powerful testimony as to its efficacy. A cloth dummy named Bernie gets baited up and propped up on a board with and without the Sharkbanz attached to his ankle. Sharks seem to very much enjoy savaging his lower limbs when they are undressed of the magnetic bracelet.

So all good, Sharkbanz does the biz.

Unfortunately, Assoc Prof Charlie’s research with Whites off the Neptune Islands in South Oz, says no.

According to Charlie’s peer reviewed 2018 paper: “Neither the SharkBanz bracelet nor leash affected the behaviour of hite sharks or reduced the percentage of baits taken.”

Huveneers made the additional point, summarising the existing scientific research as well as his own, that any deterrent effect on sharks was likely to be only when the shark was closer than fifty centimetres causing him to reach the following conclusion,

“This suggests that magnets are unlikely to be effective at deterring sharks because they will only protect close to the magnet, limiting their applicability as personal deterrents unless stronger magnets can be used or many magnets are positioned on the surfer or board.”

Who to believe?

Bernie or the Prof?

One cat around here who believes in the Sharkbanz is local chef Jabez Reitzman.

Reitzman has also been hit by a shark, suffering wounds to his shoulder when what is believed to be a juvenile White latched onto him around around seven am, Feb 8, 2015, two days before Tadashi Nakahara was fatally mauled down the the road at Ballina. Reitzman told me out the back at Lennox Point he believes in the Sharkbanz, to which I replied: yeah, but you got bit.

To which he replied: forgot to put it on that day.


How good is the placebo effect though.

Mother Nature made a deal with the human mind to allow us to believe in things that are useful to us even if they ain’t strictly true.

There are strong proponents for this way of thinking. Queensland University shark researcher Blake Chapman said in relation to personal shark deterrents,

“These things may or may not work, but the chances of being bitten are so small, that if it’s giving you peace of mind to go out there and do your activity then it’s doing its job.”

A very much weirder advocate for a version of the placebo effect comes from South African inter-species communicator Anna Breytenbach.

She claims, after consulting with “Great White shark universal consciousness” that competitiveness and bad vibes might draw the predatory attention of White sharks.

Local surfer and environmental activist Dean Jefferies puts her thought into action thusly: “I send a telepathic message to any sharks that maybe in the area that I am their friend, I am not food or competition. I calm my energy, breath and heart rate and I transmute any lingering fear I may have around sharks. I say in my mind to any possible nearby shark, could you please keep a small distance away, and we can both be here in relative harmony with each other. “

What am I saying?

I’m saying that if wearing Sharkbanz helps keep the organism chill and in non-prey mode then it’s effectiveness as a shark deterrent may not be an entirely anti-scientific proposition despite the conclusions of Assoc Prof Huveneers.

Can you guess the preferred method of deterrence chosen by surf Mamas and Papas looking to protect their progeny during the height of the shark attack crisis of 2015/16 in the hamlet of Lennox Head?


It was a diving knife strapped to the calf, ready for hand-to-hand combat with the Leviathan. I shit you not comrades.

Education. We don’t need no education.

How are Sharkbanz selling locally in one of the sharkiest joints on earth?

I hit the bricks in Byron, Lennox and Ballina and couldn’t find one for sale.

Looks like a ready made role for a recently retired pro who needs some sales repping work.

Anyone come to mind?

I know we are really dragging this one out but time for a little super quick shark tale as dessert?

Just one little scoop.

Glorious winters day in ’93.

Honeymooning couple Debbie and John Ford are ascending from a dive at Julian Rocks, a mile out to sea in Byron Bay. John sees an eighteen-foot White headed for his bride and puts himself between it and the gal.

Gets bitten in half.

Local fisherman Ron Boggis is deputised by the constabulary to hunt the shark down. He hooks the monster on a drum line and it tows him and the boat miles and miles out to sea.

Hours pass with the fisherman locked in battle with the shark. In the dark he gets close enough to try and loose rounds of a .33 into the beast.

The shark snaps the chain, leaving only the mans regurgitated leg as a reminder of the battle as it slinks off into the inky waters of the night.


** Damn it feels good to put this Marine Biology degree to use.