South Africa: Groundswell of Public Opinion Against Planned Seismic Survey Off Wild Coast

A photograph of Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape, South Africa (file photo).
analysis

Shell has announced that it will carry out a three-dimensional seismic survey in search of oil and gas deposits from Morgan Bay to Port St Johns off the Wild Coast, starting on 1 December. Almost 90,000 people have signed a petition against the exploration.

By Monday evening, more than 87,000 people had signed a petition by the Oceans Not Oil coalition calling for an end to planned intense airgun blasts by Shell to probe for oil and gas off the Eastern Cape coast.

Oceans Not Oil founder Janet Solomon said, "There are 87,100 signatures in the petition. Hundreds of comments and objections have been sent to the environment assessors."

Solomon said protest marches were planned.

Last week, Daily Maverick reported that marine activists in the Eastern Cape had voiced their anger after Shell announced that it would carry out a three-dimensional seismic survey in search of oil and gas deposits from Morgan Bay to Port St Johns off the Wild Coast, starting on 1 December.

Shell has appointed Shearwater GeoServices to conduct the survey, which will last from four to five months and cover 6,011km² of ocean surface. The survey area is more than 20km off the coast, with its...

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