Permit for Wild Coast exploration from 2013, requirements now would be stricter
Shell plans to start its seismic oil and gas exploration project off the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape on 1 December.
The seismic blasting vessel hired by the oil company - the Amazon Warrior - was met by protesters when it arrived at Cape Town harbour over the weekend.
Environmental groups and activists say the upcoming five-month seismic survey threatens the marine life of the Wild Coast.
The vessel will... drag up to 48 air guns methodically through 6,011km² of ocean surface, firing extremely loud shock wave emissions that penetrate through 3km of water and 40km into the Earth’s crust below the seabed.Oceans Not Oil Coalition
Walking to witness the arrival of The Amazon Warrior at V&A Waterfront. #SaveTheWildCoast #ShellMustFall #WhoStoleOurOceans #NoToOilAndGas #ZeroEmissionsBy2050 #ClimateAction pic.twitter.com/w8yHt9hhwb— The Green Connection (@TheGreenConnect) November 21, 2021
Oceans Not Oil has started a petition against Shell's plans - more than 234,000 people have signed so far.
We object to Shell and CGG Seismic Surveys on RSA Coast! Help us in protecting oceans and sign the petition.https://t.co/Aw1XFqmNld#SaveTheWildCoast #ShellMustFall #WhoStoleOurOceans #NoToOilAndGas #ZeroEmissionsBy2050 #ClimateAction— The Green Connection (@TheGreenConnect) November 23, 2021
Bruce Whitfield interviews Liz McDaid, founder member and Strategic Lead at The Green Connection.
McDaid says the Shell survey raises two big issues that South Africa, as a society, should be grappling with.
Many people live off the ocean... so you are potentially risking their livelihoods in the search for oil and gas.Liz McDaid, Founder member - The Green Connection
You are also for oil and gas, which internationally we shouldn't be doing anymore because of the climate change crisis. We should be looking for alternatives.Liz McDaid, Founder member - The Green Connection
Is Shell in breach of any international or local law in terms of its future actions resulting from the seismic survey?
McDaid says while South Africa's environmental standards have been improving over the years, Shell's permit dates from 2013.
If they were to apply for such a permit today, they would have to do what we feel is a much more rigorous environmental impact assessment which would have considerable public participation and enable authorities to really assess whether this was necessary and what the potential harm could be.Liz McDaid, Founder member - The Green Connection
It's the sound waves and pressure waves under the water that would obviously have an impact on those animals under the sea that are communicating with each other and searching for food, etcetera.Liz McDaid, Founder member - The Green Connection
Studies show that... these small blasts carrying on for months and sweeping across the ocean as they look for the oil, have some impacts... We have to look at the ocean as a whole system - there's a food chain from the small planktons to the smaller fish, to the bigger fish etcetera.Liz McDaid, Founder member - The Green Connection
Whale migration and the area's endangered turtle population are also contentious issues.
In their own documents and others, there's a tendency to say 'we must avoid whale migration seasons' but in December there's still likely to be whale migration along the coast and yet they are going to start in December.Liz McDaid, Founder member - The Green Connection
If we want to look after our ocean resources for sustainable use, why do we need to look for more oil and gas which we don't want or need in terms of the climate crisis?Liz McDaid, Founder member - The Green Connection
Listen to the conversation in the audio below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Permit for Wild Coast exploration from 2013, requirements now would be stricter
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