Shell oil is planning to spend the next several months searching for deep-sea oil and gas reserves off the coastline in South Africa. This move comes with much backlash from environmentalists and advocates who believe these big underwater explosions will continue to contribute to the climate crisis and will disrupt marine life.
The coastline is the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast – a stretch of land aptly named for its untamed wilderness and lack of major industrialization, reports Metro.
“The extraction [of oil and gas] would bring devastation to the at-risk marine life, to local fishers whose livelihoods depend on the natural ecosystems and fish stocks, and [to] the communities on the coast of the Eastern Cape,” says Project 90 by 2030, a social and environmental justice organization inspiring and mobilizing South African society towards a sustainably developed and equitable low-carbon future by means of a Just Energy Transition.
According to Common Dreams, the timing of Shell’s planned blasting is especially concerning to opponents. The fossil fuel corporation has hired Shearwater GeoServices to begin surveying off the Eastern Cape’s virtually untouched Wild Coast on December 1, during whale season.
From June to December humpback whales mate and rear calves in this area and rely on the safety of the warmer waters to do so. These explosions could cause irreversible psychological and physiological damage to these creatures as they begin their journey to Antarctica.
⛔ URGENT ⛔@Shell’s oil and gas exploration on South Africa’s Wild Coast will be destructive for people and nature.— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) November 29, 2021
The best way to mitigate the effects of seismic blasting is NOT TO DO IT!!
Sign now to #StopShell ➡️ https://t.co/iNSBSLLYPShttps://t.co/rQP6bBaEqr
The approval for the permit to allow Shell’s exploration rights was granted back in December of 2014. “Many believe Shell would have been denied this permission had the One Environmental System been in effect earlier,” Metro.co.uk says.