The Shell Wild Coast Survey Has Been Appproved
However No-one Knew About It
"Many sea creatures could be affected in the coming months — whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, sharks and even crabs and tiny shellfish will be blasted. At a time when world leaders are making promises and decisions to step away from fossil fuels because climate science has shown we cannot burn our existing reserves (let alone drill for more), offshore oil and gas Operation Phakisa is pushing ever harder to get its hands on a local supply of gas. Shell must answer for how the harms done during this survey and any exploration drilling done hereafter are part of its energy transition plan to control global warming."
"Shell’s Wild Coast exploration kicks off as survey vessel arrives "
News broke on 4 November 2021 that the Wild Coast of South Africa was earmarked for oil and gas exploration and that a Shell subsidiary was given exploration rights years ago. This venture swung into action when Shell’s survey vessel, the ‘Amazon Warrior,’ arrived on South Africa’s shores on Sunday, 21 November. The survey is scheduled to last four to five months and cover 6 011km² of ocean surface. The department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) told the SABC that it was not yet in a position to comment on ‘Shell’s imminent seismic testing’ off the Wild Coast. The DFFE’s chief director of communications, Albi Modise, commented that ‘during 2013, an application for exploration rights was approved by the then Minister responsible for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.’ According to Modise, this means that the decision remains valid and binding until set aside on review by a court of law. " - GETWAY
Shell’s seismic survey in search of oil or gas deposits from Morgan’s Bay to Port St John’s – along South Africa’s unspoilt Wild Coast – is due to commence around 1 December. One of the main concerns is that up to 48 air guns will be dragged 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”… which could have a detrimental affect on marine life.
The petition, posted by OceansNotOil on Change.org, has gathered over 169,000 signatures. It calls on “Honourable Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environmental Affairs to withdraw the approval of this application”. Creecy however is not able to do so because the authorisation was given under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MRPDA), and therefore the Minister of Minerals, Resources and Energy is the Minister responsible for the administration of the MPRDA; and Minister Creecy is “not mandated to consider the application or to make a decision on the authorization of the seismic survey”.
The Department also pointed out that “since the coming into effect of the One Environment System on 8 December 2014, the application process for the seismic survey was finalised. All decisions made under the MPRDA at the time remain valid and binding, until set aside by a court of law”.
Whilst this survey was approved back in 2014, it’s seven years later and – as per OceansNotOil – there should have been a renewed call for feedback “to be truly representative of a public participation process that is true to this moment in global warming, and not the climate denialism of 2014”.