Urgent interdict filed to stop Shell doing seismic tests off Wild Coast

The Border Deep Sea Angling Association, Kei Mouth Ski Boat Club, Natural Justice and Greenpeace Africa have joined forces to stop Shell from conducting a seismic survey off the Wild Coast.

Cullinan and Associates have filed an urgent interdict against Shell in the Eastern Cape Division of the Grahamstown High Court.

“Our application will be heard at 2pm Wednesday 1 December 2021,” said the firm in a statement.

“The applicants are asking the court to stop the seismic survey until they can put expert evidence before the court about the harmful effects of the survey. We think that it is irrational and socially unjust for Shell to continue looking for more oil and gas reserves when the reserves already discovered cannot be used without causing catastrophic climate change,” said Cullinan and Associates.

They will argue that the commencement of the seismic exploration activities is unlawful until Shell has applied for and obtained an environmental authorisation under the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).

“We also believe that the decision-making processes have been unfair because affected parties were not informed of the granting of the exploration right or given an opportunity to appeal it. The public were also not notified of the two applications to renew the exploration right.

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The seismic survey, which was due to start today, Wednesday 1 December, would be detrimental to the whole community of life that depends on the Wild Coast, both humans and other species.

Marine life on the coast would be disturbed and destroyed with many creatures like whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, sharks and even crabs and tiny shellfish being negatively impacted by the blasts in the coming months.

These activities may also have harmful impacts on coastal communities.”

Protests are planned in both Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay on Sunday 5 December.

Photo: Green Peace International