Merewether Beach illuminated with lanterns in anti-gas exploration protest

Merewether Beach has been illuminated in a display organisers of the World Ocean Lantern Ceremony say demonstrates love for the sea and opposition to ongoing gas exploration off the east coast. 

More than 500 lanterns were placed on the beach on Saturday night as part of the ceremony, as about 250 people gathered to protest against seismic testing near Newcastle.

Event organiser Natasha Deen said the ceremony was “an expression of reverence and love for the ocean”.

“Our coast is so precious, but is under threat not only from plastic pollution, but from further seismic testing, offshore drilling and a planned gas field,” Dr Deen said.

The company searching for gas off the coast of Newcastle has not ruled out further seismic testing or drilling.

Asset Energy is waiting for results from its recent seismic testing operation in April.